(The Center Square) – With time in the year and the legislative session running short, the Ohio Senate passed a series of bills it believes will help small businesses around the state.
In all, four bills came out of the Senate with an eye toward business, including one that supporters believe will make a difference in quality and cost of health care plans for employees.
Senate Bill 9, sponsored by Senate President-elect Matt Huffman, R-Lima, keeps insurance companies from withholding claims information from small employers who are shopping for group providers.
“This bill would allow small businesses and employers to make informed, fiscally responsible decisions,” Dolan said in written testimony of his bill. “Simply put, employers need access to their own data in order to determine the most cost effective way to provide health plan benefits to their employees.”
Dolan said insurers often cite privacy issues to without information, but added HIPAA specifically permits the discloser. And, he said, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has said employee health information does not need to be restricted from employers who provide health insurance.
The Senate also reauthorized the Rural Business Growth Program and increased the total amount of nonrefundable tax credits to insurance companies who invest in the funds. The program encourages investment in businesses in a county with less than 200,000 people.
It passed House Bill 312 which allows small businesses to take advantage of intrastate crowdfunding to raise capital online in an effort to promote business development and growth.
Finally, it passed a bill that shortens the period of limitations for written contracts and verbal agreements to, according to supporters, keep Ohio competitive with nearby states.