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San Francisco Health Spending Requirement to Rise

Employers with employees working in San Francisco will have to pay more in 2009 to comply with the city's health care spending law, while the law’s requirements will apply to more employees.

December 31, 2008
Related Topics: Medical Benefits Law, Benefit Design and Communication, Policies and Procedures, Latest News
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Employers with employees working in San Francisco will have to pay more in 2009 to comply with the city's health care spending law, while the law’s requirements will apply to more employees.

Beginning January 1, employers with 100 or more employees will be required to spend $1.85 per hour per covered employee on health care, up from $1.76 in 2008. Employers with 20 to 99 employees will have to spend at least $1.23 per hour per covered employee, up from $1.17. Employers with fewer than 20 employees are exempt from the requirement.

That spending requirement can be satisfied in various ways, including payment of employees' health insurance premiums and contributions to health savings accounts and health reimbursement arrangements.

In addition, the spending requirement will apply next year to employees working at least eight hours per week. In 2008, the spending requirement applies to employees working at least 10 hours per week.

Earlier this year, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that the ordinance was not pre-empted by the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

The Golden Gate Restaurant Assn., which filed the ERISA challenge to the 2006 law, has asked for a review of that ruling by the full appeals court. The court has not acted on that request.

Filed by Jerry Geisel of Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail editors@workforce.com.

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