Thursday, 18 Apr 2013 By Sandy Fitzgerald
Passage of the new bipartisan immigration reform bill could mean a $3,000 per year incentive for employers who choose a newly legal immigrant over a U.S. citizen.
The bill unveiled Wednesday says people who are granted provisional legal status will be treated the same as people “not lawfully present” under Obamacare guidelines, Investor’s Business Daily reports.
This means that provisionally legal immigrants will not be eligible for Obamacare tax credits or required to pay a tax penalty for failing to get health insurance – and employers won’t be fined for not providing them with affordable health coverage.
Employers who don’t offer insurance face fines based on full-time staffing levels, regardless of whether the workers are immigrants or U.S. citizens. However, employers who offer insurance can face fines if the coverage costs workers more than 9.5 percent of their pay. If the insurance is too costly, the worker will become eligible for Obamacare.
The employer then would be charged by the government, up to $3,000 per full-time worker who receives Obamacare subsidies. But since legalized immigrants wouldn’t be eligible for Obamacare, their employers would not fined for hiring them and not subsidizing their insurance coverage.
“A playing field tilted toward legalized immigrants is surely not what the bipartisan group of Senators intended, and it may be possible to craft a legislative fix. But it may not be simple, either politically or administratively,” Investor’s Business Daily reported.