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D.C. City Council Approves Healthcare Exchange Emergency Legislation

Sun, Jun 9, 2013

Washington, District Of Columbia

The D.C. City Council approved legislation that would implement the D.C. healthcare exchange on an emergency basis at their June 4 Council Meeting.  The legislation, introduced by Councilmember Yvette Alexander (D – Ward 7), authorizes key policy aspects of the city’s health insurance exchange on an emergency basis, so that the healthcare exchange can be functional in time for the first enrollment date of October 1.  The legislation is only effective for 90 days, and the Council will have to pass a permanent bill before that time period expires in order for the healthcare exchange to be permanently functional.

As a part of the legislation passed by the council, small businesses (those with under 50 full-time-equivalent employees) that currently offer their employees healthcare would not have to buy into the D.C.-run exchange until January 1, 2015.  Those small business that currently do not offer healthcare plans will have to offer plans purchased through the exchanges starting on January 1, 2014.  While these dates are authorized by the emergency legislation, the Council will still have the opportunity to revise the mandates for small businesses during their debate on the permanent bill.  To that point, Councilwoman Alexander and other members of the Council have stated publicly that they will be reviewing the small business mandates, and seeing if there is a better way to meet the city’s policy objectives, with an extension of the transition period being the most discussed alternative to the current plan.

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.