Commercial launched to educate workers about health benefits 

Walking through the busy kitchen of a restaurant, David Chiu says, “Make sure you get the benefit you’re owed.”

The Board of Supervisors president is featured in a TV commercial launched this week, in partnership with business advocates such as the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and the Golden Gate Restaurant Association. Supervisors Scott Wiener, Mark Farrell and Malia Cohen also appear one at a time walking through the kitchen discussing the benefits. The commercial can be seen at www.getyourbenefitsf.com.

In 2011, one of the most politically heated debates was over closing a loophole in health reimbursement accounts, which is one way businesses comply with The City’s landmark Health Care Security Ordinance that requires employers to spend a minimum amount on worker health care.

Businesses that offered the reimbursement accounts were taking back the money each year. The debate was to close the loophole. Supervisor David Campos had proposed a measure that would have kept funds accumulating in workers’ accounts in perpetuity. That proposal was approved by the board, but vetoed by Mayor Ed Lee.

A compromise was then approved. It requires businesses to keep contributions in the accounts for at least two years and any funds in the accounts in 2011 must be rolled over into this year.
Employers must contribute up to $4,252 for a full-time worker each year.

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

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