2004 Priority Issue


Senator Seward and Assemblyman Morelle have joined forces on a bill that would provide health insurance tax credits for small businesses and expand the range of options a small business would have when purchasing health insurance coverage for their workers.

(S. 6332 / A. 10251) would create a 43 percent tax credit that, when combined with the existing health insurance tax deduction, would result in an effective tax credit of 50 percent for health insurance costs. The new credit would be available to businesses with 50 or fewer employees and with earned net income of $29,000 or less.

The bill would also:

  • Authorize insurers and HMOs to offer "Freedom Policies," which would have higher deductibles and which would be coupled with new health savings accounts (HSA's). HSAs are accounts to which individuals can contribute pre-tax income to cover health-care expenses.
  • Expand participation in the Healthy New York program. Healthy New York is a state program that allows small businesses that offer no health insurance to offer more affordable insurance, with costs shared by the employer and its employees.

The bill has over two dozen sponsors in each house.

Sponsors for A.10251 include Schimminger, Canestrari, Norman, Ortiz, O`Donnell, Cahill, Bradley, Cymbrowitz, Koon, Lavelle, Seddio, Hikind, John, Perry, Benjamin, Colton, Delmonte, Destito, L.Diaz, Gordon, Gromack, Higgins, Magee, Pheffer, Robinson, Sidikman, Wright.

Sponsors for S.6332 include Bruno, Rath, Alesi, Bonacic, Farley, Flanagan, Fuschillo, Hoffmann, Johnson, Kuhl, Larkin, Leibell, Little, Maziarz, Mcgee, Meier, Mende Morahan, Nozzolio, Robach, Saland, Skelos, Trunzo, Volker, Wright, Alesi, Bonacic.


The Senate has passed S.7471 which includes the Freedom Health Insurance provision. The Senate also passed S. 6332 on June 21 by a vote of 57-2.

The final 2004/2005 state budget did not include the small business tax credit or the authorization for Freedom Health Plans.