Congress Takes Important Step in Supporting Self-Insurance
April 5 - Washington, D.C. - After several years of broad SIIA advocacy efforts, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1304, the Self-Insurance Protection Act (SIPA), earlier today by a vote of 400 to 16.
Sponsored by Dr. Phil Roe (R-TN) and promoted by SIIA and its members across the country, SIPA ensures that small- and mid-sized private sector employers, as well as smaller Taft-Hartley Plans and public sector entities, are able to continue to provide quality health benefits to their workers and members through self-insured group health plans. SIPA accomplishes this by clarifying existing law to ensure that federal regulators cannot re-define stop-loss insurance as traditional "health insurance" under the law. Such a designation would effectively force these self-insured entities to discontinue their plans. This regulatory threat surfaced during the prior administration and, while not a likely development given the current administration, SIIA believes it is important to codify this protection now to head off any similar regulatory threats in the future.
The vote by the full House proceeds a March 1 legislative hearing before the House Education & Workforce Committee in which SIIA Chairman Jay Ritchie testified, and a March 8 mark-up at which the Committee approved SIPA by voice vote.
SIIA would particularly like to thank Dr. Roe for his ongoing support of the self-insurance industry, as well as Education & Workforce Chair Virginia Foxx for her leadership on the this and other critical health care reforms.
Stop-loss insurance is utilized by most private and public employers with self-insured plans, along with self-insured Taft-Hartley Plans, to provide a financial backstop to reimburse the employer or the plan for catastrophic losses and to protect the plan and plan sponsor from financial insolvency. Unlike health insurance, stop-loss insurance does not cover individuals, nor does stop-loss insurance pay health care providers.
The Self-Insurance Protection Act now moves over to the Senate where SIIA will continue its outreach and support activities.
If you have questions on SIPA or would like more information on SIIA's advocacy activities, please contact Ryan Work, SIIA vice president of government relations, at email@example.com.
For a more complete understanding of public policy developments that may affect the self-insurance marketplace, make plans to attend SIIA's Legislative/Regulatory Conference, scheduled for May 2-4, 2017 in Washington, DC.