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Ohio House Passes Legislation to Revise Health Insurance Mandates, Support Small Businesses

May 28, 2014
Republican Newsroom

In the continuing effort to reduce costly mandates on businesses and ensure clarity regarding the federal health care law, the Ohio House of Representatives today passed House Bill 511, legislation to revise eligibility requirements regarding health insurance coverage.

Sponsored by State Representative Barbara Sears (R-Monclova Township), House Bill 511:

  • Lowers to 26 (from 28) the age to which health insurance coverage must be extended, upon the request of the insured, under certain health policies or plans that provide coverage to an insured’s unmarried dependent children, a provision that brings Ohio law in line with the federal Affordable Care Act’s specified age of 26.
  • Increases to 30 (from 25) the minimum number of hours that an eligible employee works in a normal work week for the purposes of the law governing small employer health benefit plans, with the goal of reducing costs on small businesses while helping more workers afford an insurance plan through the exchange marketplace
  • Increases the duration of available short-term health insurance policies from six to 12 months, giving consumers access to coverage if they fall outside of open enrollment opportunities

“With the Affordable Care Act in place, there are more health insurance options for Ohioans and, at the same time, more health insurance mandates on small businesses,” said Rep. Sears. “This legislation strikes a sensible balance that will allow more small businesses to stay afloat by lessening the financial burden of these mandates, while also taking advantage of the new options offered by the federal health care law. This is a common-sense bill that streamlines health insurance regulations in a way that will benefit both consumers and employers.”

In the House Health and Aging Committee, House Bill 511 received the support of the National Federation of Independent Business, the Ohio Association of Health Underwriters, the Ohio Restaurant Association, and the Ohio Council of Smaller Enterprises.

House Bill 511 will undergo further consideration in the Ohio Senate.