ASSEMBLY, No. 2513

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

212th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 9, 2006

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman NEIL M. COHEN

District 20 (Union)

Assemblywoman JOAN M. QUIGLEY

District 32 (Bergen and Hudson)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     “Expanding Access to Health Care Act”; requires certain large employers to either provide specified level of health benefits to employees or pay assessment to State.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning provision of employee health benefits coverage and supplementing Title 34 of the Revised Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.  This act shall be known and may be cited as the “Expanding Access to Health Care Act.”

 

     2.  As used in this act:

     “Commissioner” means the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development.

     “Employee” means any person engaged in service at a location in the State by a large employer on a full or part-time basis for wages, salary or other compensation.

     “Fund” means the Expanding Access to Health Care Fund established pursuant to this act.

     “Health care expenditures” means the amount paid by a large employer to provide health care benefits or reimburse employees for their health care costs, to the extent the expenditures may be deductible by the employer under federal tax law.  Health care expenditures may include, but are limited to, payments for medical care, prescription drugs, vision care and medical savings accounts.

     “Large employer” means any person or corporation, partnership, individual proprietorship, joint venture, firm, company or other similar legal entity that employs 10,000 or more persons in New Jersey and pays their wages.

     “Wages” means the direct monetary compensation due an employee from an employer for services rendered by the employee, whether determined on the basis of time, task, piece, commission, or other method of calculation.  “Wages” does not include any form of supplementary incentives and bonuses that are calculated independently of regular wages and paid in addition thereto. 

 

     3.  There is established the Expanding Access to Health Care Fund in the Department of the Treasury.  The purpose of the fund is to help finance health care coverage for uninsured and underinsured workers and their families in this State.

     a.  The fund shall be a nonlapsing fund dedicated for use by the State to provide health care coverage for uninsured and underinsured employed persons and their families who meet the eligibility requirements for NJ FamilyCare as established pursuant to P.L.2005, c.156, including the Medicaid expansion for parents and other adults established pursuant to that law.

     b.  The fund shall be comprised of revenues received from payments made by large employers under section 4 of this act and such other sources as the Legislature shall determine.  Interest earned on the monies in the fund shall be credited to the fund.

     The monies in the fund shall be invested and reinvested by the Director of the Division of Investment in the Department of the Treasury as are other trust funds in the custody of the State Treasurer in the manner provided by law.

     c.  The fund shall be administered by the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development, in consultation with the State Treasurer and the Commissioner of Human Services.

 

     4.  a.  Beginning January 1, 2007 and annually thereafter, a large employer shall submit to the commissioner, on a form and in a manner prescribed by the commissioner, the following information:

     (1)  the number of employees in the State as of January 1 of the previous calendar year, or such other date as established by the commissioner;

     (2)  the employer’s definition of full-time and part-time employee;

     (3)  the number of full-time and part-time employees in the State eligible to receive health care expenditures from the employer as of January 1 of the previous calendar year and the number of full-time and part-time employees who received health care expenditures from the employer as of January 1 of the previous calendar year;

     (4)  the amount spent by the employer in the previous calendar year on health care expenditures for employees in the State; and

     (5)  the percentage of payroll that was spent by the employer in the previous calendar year on health care expenditures for employees in the State, except that the employer may exempt from the calculation: (a) wages paid to an employee in excess of the median household income in the State as published by the U.S. Census Bureau and (b) wages paid to an employee who is a beneficiary of, or eligible for benefits under, the Medicare program (42 U.S.C.s.1395 et seq.).

     The principal executive officer of the employer, or other person performing a similar function for the employer, shall include a signed affidavit with the report, under penalty of perjury, that the information provided was reviewed by the signing officer and is true to the best of the signing officer’s knowledge, information and belief.

     b.  A large employer organized as a nonprofit organization, which does not spend at least 6% of the total wages paid to employees in the State on health care expenditures, shall pay to the commissioner for deposit in the fund an amount equal to the difference between what the employer spends for health care expenditures and 6% of the total wages paid to its employees in the State. 

     c.  A large employer organized as a for-profit organization, which does not spend at least 8% of the total wages paid to employees in the State on health care expenditures, shall pay to the commissioner for deposit in the fund an amount equal to the difference between what the employer spends for health care expenditures and 8% of the total wages paid to its employees in the State.

     d.  A large employer shall not deduct any payment made pursuant to this section from the wages of an employee.

     e.  A large employer shall make the payment required under this section on a periodic basis, as determined by the commissioner.

     f.  The commissioner shall deposit any funds received from large employers pursuant to this section in the Expanding Access to Health Care Fund established pursuant to section 3 of this act.

 

     5.  a.  A large employer that fails to report to the commissioner  pursuant to section 4 of this act shall be subject to a civil penalty of $250 for each day that the report is not timely filed.

     b.  A large employer that fails to make the required payment pursuant to section 4 of this act shall be subject to a civil penalty of $250,000.

     c.  The penalty shall be sued for and collected by the commissioner in a summary proceeding before the Superior Court pursuant to the "Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999," P.L.1999, c.274 (C.2A:58-10 et seq.).

 

     6.  On or before March 15 of each year, the commissioner shall report to the Governor and Senate and Assembly standing reference committees on labor and health on the implementation of this act.

     The report shall include the names of each nonprofit and for profit large employer in the State, and for each such employer:

     a.  the employer’s definition of full-time and part-time employees;

     b.  the number of its full-time and part-time employees;

     c.  the number of its full-time and part-time employees, respectively, eligible to receive health care expenditures;

     d.  the number of its full-time and part-time employees, respectively, receiving health care expenditures from the employer; and

     e.  the source of health insurance benefits for those eligible full-time and part-time employees, respectively, not receiving health care expenditures through the employer.

 

     7.  The commissioner shall adopt rules and regulations pursuant to the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.) necessary to carry out the provisions of this act.

 

       8.  This act shall take effect on January 1, 2007.


STATEMENT

 

     This bill, the “Expanding Access to Health Care Act,” would require employers in the State with 10,000 or more employees to spend a percentage of their payroll on health care expenditures for each of their employees, or make a payment to the State’s to benefit the NJ FamilyCare Program, which provides health care coverage to low income workers and their families.

     A for-profit organization would be required to expend at least 8% of total wages paid to its employees in the State on health care expenditures, and a nonprofit would be required to expend at least 6% of total wages.  In the event the employer expends a lower amount, the employer would be required to pay to the State the difference between what the employer expends and 8% or 6%, as applicable to the organization.  The monies paid by employers would be deposited in the Expanding Access to Health Care Fund which shall be dedicated for use by the State to provide health care coverage for uninsured and underinsured employed persons and their families who meet the eligibility requirements for NJ FamilyCare as established pursuant to N.J.S.A.30:4J-8 et seq., including the Medicaid expansion for parents and other adults established in that 2005 law.

     Specifically, the bill provides that:

·      Beginning January 1, 2007 and annually thereafter, a large employer shall submit to the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development the following information:

       -- the number of employees of the employer in the State as of January 1 of the previous calendar year, or such other date as established by the commissioner;     

       -- the employer’s definition of full-time and part-time employee;

       -- the number of full-time and part-time employees eligible to receive health care expenditures from the employer as of January 1 of the previous calendar year and the number of full-time and part-time employees who received health care expenditures from the employer as of January 1 of the previous calendar year;

       -- the amount spent by the employer in the previous calendar year on health care expenditures for employees in the State; and

       -- the percentage of payroll that was spent by the employer in the previous calendar year on health care expenditures for employees in the State, except that the employer may exempt from the calculation (a) wages paid to an employee in excess of the median household income in the State as published by the U.S. Census Bureau and (b) wages paid to an employee who is beneficiary of, or eligible for benefits under, the Medicare program.

·      “Health care expenditure” means the amount paid by a large employer to provide health care benefits or reimburse employees for their health care costs, to the extent the expenditures may be deductible by the employer under federal tax law.  Health care expenditures may include, but are not limited to, payments for medical care, prescription drugs, vision care and medical savings accounts.

·      A large employer shall not deduct any payment made pursuant to this bill from the wages of an employee.

·      A large employer that fails to report to the commissioner as required in this bill shall be subject to a civil penalty of $250 for each day that the report is not timely filed.

·      A large employer that fails to make the required payment shall be subject to a civil penalty of $250,000.

·      On or before March 15 of each year, the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development shall report to the Governor and Senate and Assembly standing reference committees on labor and health on the implementation of this bill.  The report shall include the names of each nonprofit and for profit large employer in the State, and for each such employer:

       -- the employer’s definition of full-time and part-time employees;

       -- the number of its full-time and part-time employees;

       -- the number of its full-time and part-time employees, respectively, eligible to receive health care expenditures;

       -- the number of its full-time and part-time employees, respectively, receiving health care expenditures from the employer; and

       -- the source of health insurance benefits for those eligible full-time and part-time employees, respectively, not receiving health care expenditures through the employer.

·      The bill takes effect on January 1, 2007.