Breaking News – Harmful Self-Insurance Legislation Advancing in New Jersey

SIIA Members Should Push Governor to Veto Legislation

Despite significant opposition by SIIA and allied stakeholders, legislation is advancing in New Jersey that would be harmful to that state’s small group self-insurance marketplace. Senate Bill (S) 3270 and Assembly Bill (A) 5095 were amended yesterday ahead (text not yet available) of planned final passage and may be sent to the governor as early as Monday. In short, the legislation requires small group stop-loss to be community rated, effectively restricting the ability of employers with fewer that 50 employees from self-inuring in that state.

In an additional twist, current New Jersey law requires groups to be underwritten to comply with the state’s minimum aggregate coverage law. If the legislation becomes law, New Jersey would both prohibit and require underwriting, creating compliance concerns.

SIIA was in Trenton this week taking part in a stakeholder meeting convened by Assembly Leadership to discuss a possible legislative compromise. After more than four hours of discussion, it was clear that powerful insurance company representatives did not have any interest in a meaningful compromise, knowing that they had already secured the support of key lawmakers.

Given these developments, SIIA is now asking members to request that the governor veto the legislation, which can be easily done through the following steps.

  1. Go to https://www.state.nj.us/governor/contact/
  2. Select ‘Insurance’ in the Topic drop down.
  3. Select ‘Health Insurance’ in the sub-topic drop down.
  4. Enter your Name, Address and Contact information
  5. Send a message urging the Governor to veto bills A.5095/S.3270. If you need a template, request one.

Even if you do not have business in New Jersey and are simply involved in the small group market more generally, it is SIIA’s position that any new proposed restriction on self-insurance should be opposed as the adoption of such restrictions only encourages additional regulatory actions in other states. These additional regulatory actions may certainly have a broader impact on the marketplace.

If you are interested in a template of a formal veto request, or if you have any questions, please contact Adam Brackemyre, SIIA VP of State Government Relations, at abrackemyre@siia.org.

Finally, please note that a legislative/regulatory update session will be incorporated as part of SIIA’s upcoming Self-Insured Health Plan Executive Forum, scheduled for March 16-18, 2020 in Charleston, SC. Event details can be accessed on-lined at www.siia.org.

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