Health Care Mandate Bill Now Introduced in Kentucky

January 25, 2006 ( - Kentucky is the latest state to introduce legislation that would require large employers in the state to spend a minimum amount on employee health insurance.

The bill,  HB 98 , creates a Fair Share Health Care Fund to be used to supplement Medicaid costs.   Each year, effective January 1, 2007, companies with 10,000 employees or more who do not spend at least 8% of total wage costs on employee health insurance must pay to the fund the difference between what it does spend and 8% of wage costs.

Kentucky Governor, Ernie Fletcher, opposes the bill, according to BNA.   Also the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services issued a comment saying it fears companies may reduce their payrolls to meet the bill’s requirements, forcing displaced workers to apply for Medicaid coverage, BNA said.

Earlier this month, a similar bill was introduced in the West Virginia legislature (See  West VirginiaLegislators Ponder ‘Wal-Mart Bill’).   The day following, Maryland’s Senate voted to enact the nation’s first Fair Share Health Care Act, overriding the governor’s veto of the bill (See  Veto of ‘Wal-Mart Bill’ Overridden in MD Senate).