More than 156 million Americans get their health care coverage through their employers. Employer and most worker contributions to health insurance premiums are excluded from workers’ taxable incomes.
Even after health care reform is fully phased in, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that nearly 160 million people will hold employer-sponsored insurance plans.
But recent proposals—under the guise deficit reduction—have called for ending or reducing that exclusion. The most recent came from last year’s budget deficit commission report that calls for a cap on the premium tax exclusion before eliminating it entirely.