Small contractors required to offer health insurance

Sen. Merkley’s new amendment requires even small contractors to provide health benefits.

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A new amendment introduced by Sen. Jeff Merkley requires even small contractors to provide health benefits to their employees.

The amendment includes construction companies with five or more employees and at least $250,000 in annual payroll expenses.

Without the amendment, the health care bill would give even more incentive for contractors to drop their insurance, Merkley spokeswoman Julie Edwards said. The bill creates health-care credits to make insurance cheaper for uninsured people, she said.

Company officials trying to put in the lowest bids might drop their insurance coverage if employees have taxpayer-funded credits to fall back on, Edwards said. “We don’t want the credits to end up causing someone who has insurance to drop it because of the competitive environment,” she said.

Read the full story at the Daily Journal of Commerce.

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