In the United States, self-insurance mechanisms are utilized for employee benefit programs (health benefits) as well as traditional property-casualty and workers’ compensation exposures. Health plans sponsored by employers are governed by Federal laws i.e., Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). Also, some forms of liability coverage are subject to federal regulation under the Liability Risk Retention Act, while other forms of liability, property and workers’ compensation are under state regulation.
Since its founding in 1981, the association has grown significantly and now includes members from across the nation and several countries around the world. Major membership constituencies include self-insured employers (healthcare and workers' compensation), third-party administrators (TPAs), managing general underwriters (MGUs), excess/stop-loss insurance carriers, medical tourism specialists, captive insurance companies, captive managers and other companies involved in the self-insurance/alternative risk transfer marketplace.
SIIA has become increasingly active in the international market to assist its members in establishing business relationships and understanding regulatory environments on a global basis, as well as to help “export” self-insurance/ART expertise developed in the U.S. to countries where such expertise is wanted and needed.
The business of insurance continues to expand globally. SIIA recently broadened its mission to connect the U.S. based self-insurance/ART community within the International market to exchange risk solutions and become a liaison between countries that share similar objectives.
As U.S. federal legislative/regulatory issues develop that impact international components of self-insurance/ART programs, SIIA works with government officials to develop policy recommendations that foster the promotion of uniformity of regulation throughout the U.S. and is committed to opposing legislation which is detrimental to the industry.
SIIA’s work in the legislative and regulatory arena has produced many success stories including preserving ERISA and its preemption provision that enables self-insurers of employee benefit plans to enjoy single uniform regulation at the federal level, versus a patch-work of 50 state regulatory schemes.
In addition, SIIA has successfully defeated legislation that would have negatively impacted the foreign reinsurance market operating here in the U.S. SIIA is engaged in the debate on national health care, expansion of the Liability Risk Retention Act and potential Federal Charter for insurers in lieu of continued state by state regulation.
As SIIA is expanding internationally, the association recognizes the value proposition is different from that in the United States. Therefore, the SIIA International Committee has brought together members from around the world to report on how they are utilizing alternative funding mechanisms to insure their risks.
SIIA’s goal is to create a global network of experts of the industry to:
Share their countries regulatory environment
Overcome legal restrictions
Share information on their current insurance schemes
Share current challenges within their current schemes
Promote alternative risk transfer within current insurance schemes
Identify business opportunities both within the current structure as well as in the future
SIIA serves as a leader in providing continuing educational programs through a series of seminars, conferences, research and technical support as well as serving as the industry’s dominating networking organization for parties engaged in the business of self-insurance/alternative risk transfer.
An additional outlet of information sharing is through the Self-Insurer magazine. SIIA’s official publication is distributed around the world as a communication resource and information exchange to those in the self-insurance/alternative risk transfer industry.