The San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved a Health Care Security Ordinance that creates a Health Access Program offering comprehensive health care services to uninsured individuals in San Francisco. The goal is to ensure that the companies who already pay for their employee's health care coverage continue to do so and to reduce the burden on San Francisco tax payers to provide health care for the uninsured.

Beginning January 1, 2008, all employers with an average of 50 or more employees must make mandatory health care expenditures to or on behalf of their covered employees. The effective date for employers with an average of 20-49 employees is April 1, 2008. This ordinance does not apply to employers with less than 20 employees.

Under this ordinance, employers with 100 or more employees must contribute at the rate of $1.76 per hour for each employee. Employers with 20-99 employees must contribute at the rate of $1.17 per hour for each employee. The contribution requirement may be met in a number of different ways: (1) payments to a third party to provide health care insurance; (2) contributions by the employer to the Health Access Program; (3) contributions to a health savings account; (4) direct reimbursement to employees for expenses incurred in the purchase of health care services; and (5) costs incurred by a covered employer in the direct delivery of health care services to its covered employees.

For additional information, the text of the ordinance and notice to employers can be found at: http://www.sfgov.org/site/olse_index.asp?id=45168.