A federal bill that could limit the ability of state insurance regulators to oversee small self-insured employer health plans is heading toward a vote on the House floor.
All of the Republicans who participated voted for consideration of the bill. Two Democrats crossed party lines to vote for consideration, and the other 182 voted against consideration.
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The bill would exclude medical stop-loss for a self-insured health plan from the definitions of “health insurance coverage” given in one section of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, in one section the Public Health Service Act, and in one section of the Internal Revenue Code.
Rep. David Roe, R-Tenn., the sponsor of H.R. 1304, talked about the bill Monday, at a hearing on the final form of the bill conducted by the House Rules Committee.
Roe told House Rules members that he himself has offered a self-insured health plan. He accused the Obama administration of trying to “sniff around self-insurance” and cause problems for users of a useful major medical insurance alternative.
“Just leave it alone,” Roe said at the hearing, which took place in Washington and was streamed live on the web. “It’s working.”
Rep. Robert Scott, D-Va., said H.R. 1304 would shift costs from employers with healthier employees to employers with sicker employees, without cutting overall employer health benefits spending.
The healthier employers would self-insure, and that would increase premiums for the employers still in the fully insured market, Scott said.