Employer Insurance Mandate Could Cost $307M Annually, Analysis Finds
A proposal introduced by Supervisor Tom Ammiano that would require San Francisco businesses with 20 or more employees to provide health benefits to workers could cost employers $307 million annually and force businesses to move from the city, according to an economic analysis by the Bay Area Economic Forum, the San Francisco Examiner reports (Jouvenal, San Francisco Examiner, 1/19).
Under the proposal, San Francisco businesses that currently do not offer health care coverage would be required to establish health savings accounts and pay into them $345 monthly per employee. Businesses also could choose to reimburse workers directly for medical expenses (California Healthline, 1/10).
According to the Bay Area Economic Forum analysis, the mandate and other health care mandates around the state could cause wages to stagnate and "can have major economic consequences" for businesses. R. Sean Randolph, head analyst of the report and president of the Bay Area Council, said the proposal could "be a critical hit to the bottom line" of businesses "operating on a low margin of profit."
Supporters of the mandate said providing more funding for health care would improve the area's economy, according to the Examiner (San Francisco Examiner, 1/19).