State House News Service reports:
Massachusetts has been given an additional year to transition to a new system under the Affordable Care Act that would change the way insurance carriers calculate premiums for Massachusetts businesses and potentially drive up the cost for many employers.
The Associated Press has more:
U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Thursday that while she can’t grant permanent relief for those in the small group market, she can add a year to the three-year transition period Massachusetts was granted last year.
That extends the period that state health insurers may use “rating factors” such as group size or industry to create insurance rates for small businesses.
Under the federal law, all but four of the rating factors used to establish health insurance premiums in Massachusetts were eliminated.
In a statement, Gov. Deval Patrick said he “thank[s] the Obama Administration for affording us this flexibility that will help our small businesses more smoothly transition into compliance with the Affordable Care Act.”