Three narrow health benefits bills sailed through the House Education and the Workforce Committee today.
The 39 members at a bill markup, or bill revision and voting session, approved H.R. 1304, the new version of the Self-Insurance Protection Act bill, by a voice vote.
H.R. 1304 would exclude stop-loss insurance from the federal definition of “health insurance,” in an effort to keep states from interfering with stop-loss issuers’ efforts to sell stop-loss to small self-funded employer health plans.
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The members voted 22-17, strictly along party lines, for H.R. 1101, the Small Business Health Fairness Act bill, and H.R. 1313, the Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act bill.
H.R. 1101 is the new version of the association health plan bill. The bill would let employers purchase health coverage through multi-state associations. The regulators in an AHP’s home state would be in charge of regulating the AHP.
H.R. 1313 is the new version of a wellness bill. One provision would let employers collect information about the health of employees’ relatives. Another would classify a wellness or condition management program that provides more favorable treatment for individuals with health problems as complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
All Republicans who participated in the markup voted for H.R. 1101 and H.R. 1313, and all Democrats voted against it.
Rep. Sam Johnson, R-Texas, has reintroduced H.R. 1101, the AHP bill. He has introduced several earlier versions of the bill.
The version the committee actually approved was a substitute version offered by Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Mich.