The 21st Century Cures Act passed in the Senate this week, with a focus on helping small businesses offer healthcare to employees. In addition to healthcare, the act will also focus on biomedical and drug implications, according to The Hill.
“The Small Business Healthcare Relief Act enables small businesses with fewer than 50 full-time employees to offer standalone health reimbursement arrangements to their staff. These can be used to offset eligible healthcare expenses, including health insurance premiums. Their adoption could change the healthcare picture for 5.8 million Americans.”
In the short term, the new Act will offer transition relief for businesses, so that organizations will not suffer penalties. According to the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, healthcare costs have risen from an average of $2,889 in 2001 to almost $6,000 in 2015. The new act will allow small business employers to help their employees offset costs. Although taken away in 2013, with the new passage “eligible small businesses will be able to resume offering health reimbursement arrangements, and again help cover health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket expenses for employees.”
This is definitely a step in the right direction and should be a good starting point for the new Trump administration.