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Governor’s Tax on Health Insurance to be Heard on Thursday

January 25, 2021

In one of the biggest head-scratchers of the legislative session,  Gov. Inslee has proposed SB 5149 – Funding Foundational Public Health Services. This bill imposes a new tax on individuals and companies for purchasing health insurance out of their own pockets.

That’s right. This bill will punish individuals and companies already struggling to afford ever-increasing health insurance costs who have made it a priority because it’s the “right thing to do” with a new government “fee” (tax) on each policy, every month.

As a reminder, individuals and small businesses already pay a 2% health insurance premium tax each month to the state for the privilege of buying health insurance.  And, adding insult to injury, large, self-insured companies and union health plans are exempt from this existing 2% premium tax.

So, the governor has determined that in order to fund “foundational public health” (undefined), each and every individual who purchases health insurance in the state should pay an additional $3.25 per month, on top of the 2% premium tax they already pay. Those who have chosen not to purchase health insurance will continue to pay nothing.

BIAW and several other business groups strongly oppose SB 5149. The Senate Health & Long Term Care Committee will hear this bill at 8 AM on Jan. 27.  You can sign in online to oppose the bill here.

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