Enacting the Enzi small business health plan bill could force some middle-income and higher-income workers out of employer-sponsored health plans.

Researchers at the Lewin Group, Falls Church, Va., make that prediction in their analysis of S. 1955, the small business health plan bill that was introduced by Sen. Michael Enzi, R-Wyo.

The researchers prepared the analysis for the Coalition to Protect Access to Affordable Health Insurance, a group of nonprofit health plans that opposes S. 1955.

If enacted as written, S. 1955 could end up requiring 10 states with community rating programs to allow insurers to charge higher rates for some employers than for others, Lewin researchers write.

Bill provisions probably would increase the number of low-income workers with employer-sponsored health coverage, but it might cut the number of high-income workers and dependents with employer-sponsored health coverage, the researchers predict.

The researchers estimate, for example, that passage of S. 1955 might lead to loss of employer-sponsored health coverage for about 39,000 dependents and about 35,000 workers.