WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - Jan 8, 2015) - The National Business Group on Health applauds the House of Representative's approval of legislation to change the health reform law's definition of a full-time employee to working an average of at least 40 hours per week. The Business Group, a non-profit association of 400 large U.S. employers, called the House's action an important step toward improving the economy and boosting employment.

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, employers with at least 100 employees are now required to offer qualified coverage to full-time employees or face a penalty of $2,000 per employee each year. Full-time employees are defined as those working an average of 30 hours per week. By a vote of 252 to 172, the House today approved a measure that changes the definition of full-time employees to those working an average of 40 hours per week.

Brian Marcotte, President and CEO of the National Business Group on Health, commented, "We commend the House's action today and fully support the legislation. We believe this change will boost employment, increase opportunities for people working part-time to add hours, and help the economy, particularly for smaller employers and those employers in retail, hospitality and other service industries."

Marcotte noted that 40 hours is a more common definition of full-time employment rather than 30 hours, especially among large employers and that the change would give employers and employees more flexibility in scheduling work hours. The Senate is expected to consider a similar bill and Marcotte says the Business Group fully supports that bill as well.

About the National Business Group on Health

The National Business Group on Health is the nation's only non-profit organization devoted exclusively to representing large employers' perspective on national health policy issues and providing practical solutions to its members' most important health care problems. The Business Group helps drive today's health agenda while promoting ideas for controlling health care costs, improving patient safety and quality of care and sharing best practices in health benefits management with senior benefits, HR professionals, and medical directors from leading corporations. Business Group members, which include 67 Fortune 100 companies, provide health coverage for more than 50 million U.S. workers, retirees and their families. For more information, visit www.businessgrouphealth.org.

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Ed Emerman