President Obama signed the Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees (PACE) Act into law on Wednesday night. Enactment of this legislation prevents significant premium increases for small to midsize businesses.
Both the House of Representatives and the Senate voted on the bill last week, which was met with unanimous consent.
The PACE Act repeals the merged market mandate under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that would have expanded the definition of a small group employer from 1-50 employees to 1-100 employees, which was scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2016.
The new law gives states the flexibility to determine how their small-group markets will be defined, instead of forcing them to abide by the national standard of 1-100. Each state can decide whether or not to pass its own legislation that defines a small group as up to 50 employees, or expand their definition to include employers with up to 100 employees.
Oliver Wyman, a consulting firm, estimated that the expansion would have resulted in premium increases of 18 percent or more for nearly two-thirds of workers in small to midsize organizations.
*This article is written for informational purposes only and should not be construed as providing legal advice.