Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue signed two bills that provide tax breaks to insurance companies and aim to help residents afford healthcare coverage by combining high-deductible health plans with health savings accounts.
Under the new laws, insurers dont have to pay state insurance-premium taxes on selling high-deductible plans that have an HSA attached to them, and consumers who have such plans can deduct the amount they pay on premiums from their state income taxes. In addition, employers may set up health reimbursement accounts for employees to use pre-tax dollars to pay for health expenses, including insurance. Small businesses would receive a $250 annual tax credit for each employee enrolled in an HSA plan, Perdue said in a news release.
According to an analysis by the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, a not-for-profit, nonpartisan research organization in the state, insurance companies will receive $146 million in tax cuts over the next five years as a result of the new legislation. -- by Jean DerGurahian