SanFran Ups Health Care Law Payment

April 23, 2009 ( - The city of San Francisco's controversial universal health care initiative is raising its required employer contribution.

A Business Insurance story said employers with 100 or more employees will be required to spend $1.96 per hour per covered employee on health care, up from $1.85 in 2009, beginning on January 1, 2010.

Employers with between 20 and 99 employees must spend at least $1.31 per hour, up from $1.23, city officials announced, according to the report. Employers with fewer than 20 employees are exempt from the spending requirement.

Under the city law, the spending requirement can be satisfied by payment of employees’ health insurance premiums and contributions to health savings accounts and health reimbursement arrangements. The spending requirement applies to employees working at least eight hours per week.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided in a challenge to the law filed by a restaurant trade group that the ordinance was not pre-empted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) (see 9th Circuit Lets Stand San Francisco Health Care Ruling ).