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AFFORDABLE CARE ACT: Murray, Treasury Dept Announce ACA Improvement For WA Small Businesses

Dec 17 2013

Until today, Washington was the only state without subsidized health plans for small businesses

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, after working closely with U.S. Senator Patty Murray, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced a critical improvement to the Affordable Care Act designed specifically to ensure Washington state small businesses and their employees can access critical small business tax credits for affordable, comprehensive health care plans. 

“Washington state has been a national leader in implementing the Affordable Care Act, and today’s announcement ensures that small businesses and their employees will have the same access to quality, affordable health plans as those on the individual market,” said Senator Murray.  “Since the exchanges first opened in October, I’ve been working closely with local families and businesses to ensure their health care needs are met, and I’m thrilled the Treasury Department has responded to our concerns to help make the ACA work for everyone in our state.”

Currently, small businesses in most states are able to significantly reduce the cost of providing health care for their employees through subsidized plans on the federal Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP), however, in Washington state, that option is only available in Clark and Cowlitz counties. Today’s announcement from the Treasury Department means that Washington state small businesses in all counties will receive the same, significant small business tax credit to provide their employees a choice of quality, Affordable Care Act-compliant health plans. 

This new policy will benefit small businesses in the following counties: 

Adams, Asotin, Benton, Chelan, Clallam, Columbia, Douglas, Ferry, Franklin, Garfield, Grant, Grays Harbor, Island, Jefferson, King, Kitsap, Kittitas, Klickitat, Lewis, Lincoln, Mason, Okanogan, Pacific, Pend Oreille, Pierce, San Juan, Skagit, Skamania, Snohomish, Spokane, Stevens, Thurston, Wahkiakum, Walla Walla, Whatcom, Whitman, and Yakima.

The Washington Exchange, Washington Healthplanfinder, has already enrolled over 179,000 people for coverage from Oct. 1 thru Nov. 30., which includes coverage of over 30,000 kids.