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D.C. City Council to continue debate on healthcare exchange

Mon, Jun 3, 2013

Washington, District Of Columbia

The D.C. City Council is heading towards a possible decision as to whether or not they will require small businesses to purchase their employee health insurance through a city-run exchange.  At the June 4 Council Meeting, it is expected that Councilmember Yvette Alexander (D – Ward 7) will introduce an amendment to the legislation that will authorize key policy aspects of the city’s health insurance exchange, which is set to open Oct. 1.  The amendment would extend the transition period for small employers to have to purchase health plans through the exchange by an extra year, thus pushing the requirement out to 2015.

It is difficult to predict what the Council will do when it is presented with the decision on how to implement the healthcare exchange with regards to small businesses.  The D.C. healthcare exchange authority is proposing that there be a one-year transition period, but many small business advocates and health insurance companies have called for the transition period to be three years and that the Council require an independent study of the city’s health insurance market before requiring small businesses to enter the exchange after the transition period.

MDDCCUA will be closely monitoring any legislation introduced in the Council regarding the healthcare exchange, and will continually keep credit unions informed as to how these changes will affect their operations.