Download This Bill in Microsoft Word format
Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter
Sponsors: Senator Moore
Document Path: l:\council\bills\bbm\9399htc06.doc
Companion/Similar bill(s): 4850
Introduced in the Senate on April 18, 2006
Currently residing in the Senate Committee on Medical Affairs
Summary: Small Business Health and Rural Health Care Assistance Act
HISTORY OF LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS
Date Body Action Description with journal page number ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 4/18/2006 Senate Introduced and read first time SJ-7 4/18/2006 Senate Referred to Committee on Medical Affairs SJ-7
View the latest legislative information at the LPITS web site
VERSIONS OF THIS BILL
TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING ARTICLE 11 TO CHAPTER 6, TITLE 44 SO AS TO ENACT THE "SMALL BUSINESS AND RURAL HEALTH CARE ASSISTANCE ACT" AND TO ESTABLISH THE SMALL BUSINESS HEALTH INSURANCE PREMIUM ASSISTANCE PROGRAM WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES TO PROVIDE HEALTH INSURANCE PREMIUM ASSISTANCE TO SMALL BUSINESSES FOR EMPLOYEES WHO ARE AT OR UNDER TWO HUNDRED PERCENT OF THE FEDERAL POVERTY LEVEL, TO ESTABLISH ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR SMALL BUSINESSES TO PARTICIPATE IN THE PROGRAM, TO REQUIRE ELIGIBLE EMPLOYEES TO CONTRIBUTE UP TO FIFTEEN PERCENT OF THE PREMIUM COST, TO PROVIDE THAT THIS PROGRAM MUST BE FUNDED FROM A PORTION OF A USER FEE OF 1.95 CENTS PER CIGARETTE, WHICH MUST BE ADJUSTED ANNUALLY BASED ON THE CONSUMER PRICE INDEX, AND TO DIRECT THE DEPARTMENT TO APPLY FOR A MEDICAID WAIVER TO IMPLEMENT THIS PROGRAM; TO PROVIDE THAT THE DEPARTMENT SHALL PROVIDE MEDICAID COVERAGE TO CHILDREN EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE AND YOUNGER WHOSE FAMILY INCOMES DO NOT EXCEED TWO HUNDRED PERCENT OF THE FEDERAL POVERTY LEVEL; TO CREATE THE MEDICAID MATCH FUND INTO WHICH A PORTION OF THE USER FEE ON CIGARETTES MUST BE DEPOSITED; AND TO ADD SECTION 12-21-630 SO AS TO PROVIDE FOR A 1.95 CENT USER FEE ON EACH CIGARETTE TO FUND THE SMALL BUSINESS AND RURAL HEALTH CARE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE DISTRIBUTION OF THE REMAINING PORTION OF THIS USER FEE TO THE DEPARTMENT OF MENTAL HEALTH, THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL, AND THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE.
Whereas, the General Assembly recognizes that there are tens of thousands of small businesses in South Carolina, with the overwhelming majority unable to offer insurance to their employees; and
Whereas, conservative estimates show that nearly one-fifth of the state's population does not have health care coverage and further that, under federal law, barriers exist to providing Medicaid benefits to the uninsured; and
Whereas, the South Carolina General Assembly is of the view that establishing mechanisms and providing resources to decrease the number of uninsured South Carolinians, to assist businesses in their ability to afford health care benefits and coverage for their employees, and to eliminate barriers to providing health care and health care coverage to eligible enrollees under federal law would greatly benefit all South Carolinians. Now, therefore,
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Chapter 6, Title 44 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
Section 44-6-1400. This article may be cited as the 'South Carolina Small Business and Rural Health Care Assistance Act'.
Section 44-6-1410. (A) There is established the Small Business Health Insurance Premium Assistance Program within the Department of Health and Human Services. The purpose of this program is to provide health insurance premium assistance to small businesses for all employees and employee spouses who are at or under two hundred percent of the federal poverty level.
(B) To be eligible to participate in this program, a small business owner must:
(1) employ seventy-five or fewer employees;
(2) provide health insurance to all employees who are employed the requisite number of hours pursuant to the health insurance policy of the small business and agree to maintain this insurance for the next twelve months;
(3) contribute twenty-five percent of the premium cost for those employees eligible for the premium assistance program; and
(4) contribute a minimum of twenty-five percent of the premiums for those employees not eligible for the premium assistance program.
(C) An employee who qualifies pursuant to subsection (A) to participate in this program shall contribute, on a sliding scale fee basis determined by income, as established by the departmental regulation, up to fifteen percent of the premium cost.
(D) Eligible small businesses meeting the requirements set forth herein may apply to the department for reimbursement of the insurance premium costs paid by the business and associated with providing insurance to eligible employees under this program. Reimbursements may not exceed sixty percent of the premium costs paid by the business to provide health insurance coverage authorized under this act.
(E) The department shall promulgate regulations necessary to implement this act and shall apply to the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services for a waiver to carry out the provisions of this section.
(F) Funding for this program must be provided from those funds deposited in the Medicaid Match Fund created pursuant to Section 44-6-1430.
Section 44-6-1420. The South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services shall expand coverage under the Child Health Insurance Program of the state Medicaid program to children eighteen years of age and under whose family incomes do not exceed two hundred percent of the federal poverty level.
Section 44-6-1430. (A) There is created in the State Treasury the Medicaid Match Fund that is separate and distinct from the general fund of the State and all other funds. Revenue collected pursuant to Section 12-21-630 must be credited to the Medicaid Match Fund and used by the Department of Health and Human Services as the state match for federal Medicaid funding for the Health Insurance Premium Assistance Program provided for in Section 44-6-1410 and for the expansion of Medicaid coverage pursuant to Section 44-6-1420.
(B) Monies in the fund are supplementary and may not be used to replace recurring monies appropriated from the general fund of the State or from other funds for the support of the Medicaid program. This fund is exempt from reductions imposed by law as a result of general fund shortfalls. Earnings on fund revenues must be credited to the fund and used for the same purposes. Revenues in the fund not expended during a fiscal year are carried forward to the succeeding fiscal year and must be used for the same purposes."
SECTION 2. Article 5, Chapter 21, Title 12 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 12-21-630. (A) In addition to the license tax imposed pursuant to Section 12-21-620(1), there is imposed on all cigarettes made of tobacco or any substitute for tobacco a user fee equal to 1.95 cents on each cigarette. Effective July 1, 2007, and annually thereafter, the Department of Revenue shall adjust the user fee imposed pursuant to this section by the percentage of increase, if any, in the Consumer Price Index occurring in the last completed calendar year.
(B) The user fee imposed pursuant to subsection (A) must be reported, paid, collected, and enforced in the same manner as the license tax imposed pursuant to Section 12-21-620(1).
(C) Of monies collected in a fiscal year pursuant to this section:
(1) five million dollars must be credited to the Department of Health and Human Services to be used by the department to expand the number of service sites operating as Federally Qualified Health Centers into areas not served by a community health center and/or areas which have community health centers but the level or availability of services are not sufficient to meet the community requirements according to departmental standards;
(2) five million dollars must be credited to the Department of Mental Health to be used, in cooperation with the Department of Education, to provide psychological and/or psychiatric counseling, screening, and intervention services to middle and high school students;
(3) four million dollars must be credited to the Department of Health and Environmental Control to be divided equally between the maternal and child health program and the smoking cessation and youth smoking prevention programs; and
(4) the remaining funds must be deposited into the Medicaid Match Fund created pursuant to Section 44-6-1430."
SECTION 3. Implementation of the provisions of Article 11, Chapter 6, Title 44 of the 1976 Code, as added by Section 1 of this act, are contingent upon the availability of funding, with Section 44-6-1420 having priority in receipt of such funding for implementation of the provisions of that section.
SECTION 4. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
This web page was last updated on Friday, December 4, 2009 at 3:36 P.M.