Non-profits seek help in health reform

    The Senate versions of the bill offer tax incentives to small, nonprofit employers to provide health insurance, but the House versions do not.

    Congress is working to get health care overhaul bills ready for full votes from House and Senate members. Non-profit companies fear they won’t get the same rewards that other business will get for providing health insurance benefits.

    Listen:

    [audio:091027kgnonprofit.mp3]

    Businesses continue to see the cost of providing health insurance to their employees go up. Some non-profit organizations say this is an especially hard year, because incoming funding from the government has stagnated.

    Jeff Wilush is the CEO of Horizon House, a non-profit group that supports people with disabilities or behavioral health problems. He says premiums have increased from 5 to 45 percent each year for the past five years.

    Wilush: And what that’s required is a change in the fundamental plan that we’re able to offer to our employees. Because as a non profit our funding is not going up 45 percent a year, as a matter of fact it’s probably staying very very flat.

    Rob Cola is the president of Brown and Brown consulting, which brokers insurance plans for businesses in the Delaware Valley.

    Cola:
    We have a fair amount of non profits that are not getting 14 percent increases from state or government agencies. And they’re getting 20-25 percent rate increases on their healthcare.

    The Senate versions of the health care bills offer some tax-based rewards to employers for offering health insurance. Tim Delaney is the president of the National Council of Nonprofits. He says those rewards would be extended to all businesses that qualify — either for- or non-profit.

    Delaney: In the House side, unfortunately, the House has passed three different bills through their committees and not one, not one single bill in the House right now will provide any relief to small nonprofits.

    That’s because the health insurance incentives give companies a tax break on profits, something non-profits wouldn’t be eligible for. Nonprofit groups are lobbying lawmakers to make sure non-profit businesses are included in the final bill.

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