Health Care Reform Laws Would Hit Collection Firms As Businesses, Instead Of Collectors

By Jonathan Summers

Health care reform bills introduced this week by House and Senate committees could impact some debt buyers and collection agencies that don’t offer health insurance or have insurance plans that might be deemed too skimpy. The new proposals would require businesses to provide coverage to workers.

So far, however, ACA International says it is hopeful that the health care reform legislation wont negatively affect how hospitals and health care providers do business with ARM professionals.

ACA is carefully optimistic that the fundamental business operations of health care providers will remain intact in the near term.

Under the Americas Affordable Health Choices Act brought in Tuesday in Congress, employers may supply health insurance coverage for their faculty or provide funds on their behalf to a public plan. To help small employers, firms with payrolls of $250,000 or less will be absolved from providing coverage. But employers with payrolls between $250,000 and $400,000 that do not provide health coverage would face a penalty starting at two percent of total payroll and rise to eight percent. A new small business tax credit will be available for companies that want to provide health coverage to their workers. In addition, employers that offer coverage will have to meet minimum benefit and contribution requirements.

Jim Richards, chief executive of Capio Partners, a debt purchasing and collections enterprise, said that he doesnt predict any unfavorable impact to his 18-month old business from legislation requiring employers to provide health care coverage. Like many other companies Richards has owned, Capio Partners has offered health coverage since its origin. Richards said it makes competitive sense for the Atlanta-based company to offer health coverage and it helps attracts better employees. Also, its a good thing because people get coverage.

ACA president Jay Gonsalves said most of his organization’s membership provides health care coverage. But he’s concerned that minimum coverage standards could burden employers.

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