SIIA: Self-Funded Industry Proactive in Tackling COVID-19

SIIA Advocates Self-Funded Solutions, Issues Policy Recommendations to Congress

May 6, 2020 - Earlier today, the Self-Insurance Institute of America, Inc. (SIIA) transmitted a letter to congressional leadership advocating for the important role of self-insured employer group health benefit plans during the COVID-19 crisis. At a time when many American employees and families are facing uncertain times, self-funded employers are working harder than ever to ensure that their employees and dependents are offered needed treatment, testing and other medical and financial assistance as the nation continues to cope with COVID-19.

This communication was prepared in anticipation of Congress considering new COVID-19 legislative proposals that could affect self-insured employers and their business partners.

In the letter, SIIA President & CEO Mike Ferguson highlighted a number of ways in which self-insured plans are stepping up to address COVID-related challenges. For instance, self-insured plans are proactively expanding benefits and adjusting eligibility standards, with many voluntarily waiving cost-sharing for treatment performed by in-network providers and telehealth services related to COVID-19. In addition, self-funded employers continue to make employer contribution on an after-tax basis to ensure employees can maintain existing health coverage through COBRA.

SIIA also submitted several important policy recommendations to Congress on behalf of the self-insurance industry in responding to COVID-19. In the letter, SIIA asks Congress to be cautious of including experimental procedures and trials as part of a future treatment mandate, consider a federal reinsurance mitigation program, and offer federal assistance for COBRA coverage. Lastly, SIIA asks that during the uncertain time that Congress prevent the practice of surprise billing and ensure that healthcare pricing be more transparent.

Of the letter, Mr. Ferguson stated, “SIIA and its members are committed to maintaining effective and robust health coverage for the millions of Americans who receive health coverage through a self-funded plan. We look forward to continuing our engagement with policymakers to ensure the availability and access to effective health care for America’s workforce.”

SIIA continues to work with policymakers, regulators, and other employer groups to ensure effective and robust access to healthcare benefits as we collectively battle COVID-19. In addition, SIIA is offering a number of online educational tools and live webinars to educate and assist members in this ever-changing time. For more information on these, and other events, please visit www.siia.org.

For further information, or questions, please contact Ryan Work, SIIA vice president of federal government affairs, at rwork@siia.org.

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