The chairman of a House subcommittee says Congress should consider permitting states to apply some laws and regulations to self-funded employer health plans.
The federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act now tries to create a uniform national regulatory environment for multistate employer benefit plans by preempting state regulation of benefit plans.
Rep. Rob Andrews, D-.N.J., who leads the House Education and Labor Committee’s health, employee, labor and pensions subcommittee, convened a hearing Tuesday to give promoters of state-based health insurance regulatory initiatives a chance to talk about the possibility of granting ERISA preemption waivers.
“Although ERISA’s original intent was to establish minimum funding and vesting standard for pension plans, its effect has created an unintended consequence that prohibits states from regulating employer-sponsored health plans,” Andrews said in his opening statement, according to a written version of his testimony.
Kevin Covert, who testified on behalf of the American Benefits Council, Washington, an employer group, defended the need for ERISA preemption.