San Francisco Employers Pocket Extra Health Care Funds

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – San Francisco employers are keeping 80 percent or $50 million a year of the money intended to provide employee health care under the city’s Healthy San Francisco law, and now there is an effort underway to close the loophole.

Dave Hayes works for a tech company in the city, one that satisfies the Healthy SF law by paying into health reimbursement accounts for workers. He wasn’t told about his HRA until it expired and lost the money he needed to pay for $900 in medical bills.

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:

”I really think this loophole needs to be closed so that people who are affected, like myself, can use the money that this ordinance has put in place to use,” said Hayes.

A new controller’s report said employees received only $12 million of the $62 million put into HRAs, and employers took back the rest. Supervisor David Campos is trying to close that loophole by forcing employers to carry over unused funds at the end of the year.

”Employees who have HRAs as opposed to employees who are covered by insurance are at a disadvantage,” said Campos.

He said many of those Healthy SF surcharges on restaurant bills never go to employees for health care. The controller’s report also said closing the loophole will result in lower wages for some workers and almost 400 fewer jobs in San Francisco over the next two years.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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