Healthcare has become possibly the primary consideration in employment decisions, those who once considered salaries in choosing a position now ask first about health insurance… Anonymous
Managing Healthcare Costs
by Missouri Rep. Ed Emery (R-126 including the counties of
Barton, Dade, Jasper and Polk)
Another highlight of the 2007 Legislative Session was HB 818 filed by Representative Doug Irwin. The bill is designed to facilitate lower health insurance costs for families via tax relief provisions. Families will now be able to deduct the costs of health insurance premiums from Missouri income for state tax purposes.
This bill reorients our state’s health care policy toward the objectives of the individual and away from the employer, the insurer, providers, and government. It increases portability and equitable tax treatment among all consumers of health care goods and services. The bill puts the consumer back in the driver’s seat to make their own health care decisions. HB 818 provides healthcare access to small businesses that make up the largest part of our state work-force. It provides everyone from farmers to Main-Street businesses healthcare options, and allows small businesses to provide a tax-free defined contribution to employees for the purpose of purchasing health insurance.
Provisions in the bill include:
- Expanded opportunities for Missourians who are defined as, “high risk” to allow them to more easily purchase health care coverage
- A tax deduction for all Missourians for health insurance premiums included in their federally adjusted gross income
- Extended healthcare opportunities for young Missourians entering the workforce by expanding dependent coverage to the age of 26
- A tax credit for self-employed taxpayers who qualify
- A tax-free option for employees to pay insurance premiums through cafeteria plans
- Employers may make a defined contribution towards the purchase of health insurance
Those of you who are small business owners know how important some of these changes are. The bill makes it easier for Missouri's workers and families to purchase health insurance by allowing small employers to contribute to their employees’ purchase of insurance. The contribution would be tax deductible and could help families offset the purchase cost of the insurance.
The bill cuts taxes by allowing Missourians to deduct costs for health insurance premiums from their adjusted gross income even if they did not meet the minimum threshold to qualify for the federal deduction. The legislation ensures that self employed Missourians will receive a tax credit for federal taxes paid on insurance premiums. For more details you should log on to the Missouri House website here.