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In conjunction with 17 other employer organizations, ABC sent a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) urging them to issue a two-year delay until 2018 of the expansion of the small group market definition in the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Under the ACA, the small group market definition is expanded to include employers with 51-100 employees, which is effective in 2016.  

In the letter, the business groups cite three critical reasons for delaying the expansion.

  1. Preserve the intended timeline in the ACA that afforded businesses subject to the employer responsibility requirements two initial years of offering coverage in the large group market before being subject to the more extensive benefit and rating requirements in the small group market;
  2. Protect the ability of employers to select from a broader array of coverage options; and
  3. Mitigate the dramatic premium increases that will occur with the expansion.
The letter acknowledges the urgency of the delay due to the fact that if it is granted too late, insurance companies and carriers may have already filed rates and plans based on the expanded small group definition, ultimately leaving a negative impact on businesses, their employees and American jobs.