The decision by state lawmakers not to expand Medicaid could cost Florida businesses up to $253 million a year in tax penalties.
Companies with 50 or more employees face Internal Revenue Service penalties if workers get subsidized health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. But they don't face a tax penalty if workers get subsidized coverage through Medicaid.
A new report by Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc. estimates 214,000 Floridians between the ages of 18 and 64 years old are uninsured and working full-time. Of those, about 84,000 work for large companies offering health coverage, but workers likely can't afford it and could seek coverage and get tax credits in the exchange.
That could cost Florida businesses between $169 million and $253 million a year, assuming a $2,000 to $3,000 penalty per employee.