For Immediate Release: February 28, 2019
Contact: Ben Gann, (202) 367-1169

NLBMDA Applauds House Introduction of Bill
Delaying the Health Insurance Tax
Washington, D.C . – The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) applauds action taken yesterday by Reps. Ami Bera (D-CA), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Kenny Marchant (R-TX), and Jackie Walorski (R-IN) to introduce the Health Insurance Tax Relief Act (H.R. 1398, S. 172), which would delay the Health Insurance Tax (HIT) through 2021 and help lower health insurance premiums for small businesses.

The HIT is suspended for 2019 but is set to return in 2020 unless there is congressional action extending the delay. In January, Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), along with Sens. John Barrasso (R-WY), Doug Jones (D-AL), Tim Scott (R-SC), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) introduced identical legislation in the Senate. The legislation already has 12 House cosponsors and 18 Senate cosponsors.

Health insurance companies offering fully insured health care plans pay the HIT, but it is normally passed on to employers in the form of higher premiums. According to America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), if implemented in 2020, the HIT would levy $16 billion in fees on health insurance, including increases of $479 per family in the small-group market and $458 in the large-group market.

“The HIT disportianately hurts small businesses who want to invest in the health and well-being of their employees,” said Jonathan Paine, President and CEO of NLBMDA. “NLBMDA is working on behalf of lumber dealers to help lower the cost of employer-sponsored health insurance.”

NLBMDA members will meet with lawmakers regarding the Health Insurance Tax Relief Act on April 2 as part of the Spring Meeting and Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C.

The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) represents its members in the national public policy arena, with emphasis on efforts to 1) promote the industry and educate legislators and public policy personnel; and 2) assist legislative, regulatory, standard-setting and other government or private bodies in the development of laws, regulations and policies affecting lumber and building material dealers, its customers and suppliers. Founded in 1917, the association has over 6,000 members operating single or multiple lumber yards and component plants serving homebuilders, subcontractors, general contractors, and consumers in the new construction, repair and remodeling of residential and light commercial .