How much will federal health law cost employers?

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 14, 2013 at 5:22 pm •  Published: January 14, 2013

He also ticked off a list of likely additional costs that employers will face, extra administrative costs, counting seasonal workers as full time equivalents and increasing the age for which dependents can be covered.

Democratic Sen. Darren Soto asked why the analysis did not include potential savings that could come from the law.

"So we're talking about the costs of compliance but we don't have any information on what money would be saved by bringing all these folks into an insurance system so our premiums wouldn't go to subsidize their care which is currently uninsured," he said.

Committee Chair Sen. Joe Negron said the panel would consider those cost savings in future discussions.

A House committee also met Monday to discuss health care but did not make any decisions and was still in the information gathering stage.

Florida lawmakers are facing two major decisions regarding the federal health overhaul. They must decide whether to expand Medicaid rolls to offer health coverage to more low-income families and whether to allow the feds to run an online health exchange or whether to partner with them.

Florida spends about $21 billion a year to cover nearly 3 million of the state's poorest residents, about half of whom are children.

The Obama administration wants to offer coverage to more residents under Medicaid and include those making up to 133 percent of the poverty level — $29,326 for a family of four in Florida. The changes would also require adding those who are below the poverty level but not eligible for Medicaid, such as childless adults.

Republican Gov. Rick Scott has repeatedly expressed concerns about the financial burden the expansion would bring to Florida taxpayers. Last week, he estimated it would cost $26 billion over a decade, but the state health agency later revised that figure to $3 billion after pressure from lawmakers who accused Scott of trying to play politics with the numbers.