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Agents Group Applauds Governor For Signing Employer Insurance Bill

SB 1406 Signed by Governor

Austin,Texas (PR MediaRelease) June 2, 2017

The Texas Association of Health Underwriters (TAHU), a statewide professional association of employee benefits experts, applaud Gov. Greg Abbott for signing Senate Bill 1406 which will give Texas employers a great deal more flexibility in buying and keeping a comprehensive health benefit plan.

“Senate Bill 1406 will help restore stability for employers who buy their plans in the small group market,” said Cheryl Clark, Lubbock, TAHU president. “TAHU was proud to have worked with the Texas Legislature and the Governor’s office to pass this bill by overwhelming margins in the House and the Senate.”

She said the legislation will begin the process of restoring stability for employers in this market.
“We sincerely appreciate the Governor quickly signing SB 1406 so the Texas Department of Insurance can begin its administrative work in requesting the appropriate waiver from federal authorities.”

“Because of one arbitrary and rigid rule added by federal regulators in the last administration, employers continuously faced chaos when plans fell out of compliance and had to be replaced a year or two later,” Clark added.

Clark said that employers can now plan on keeping a plan they like for several years. She noted that the rule which was fabricated by Washington bureaucrats focused on the actuarial value that a plan must have; and was almost impossible to meet and remain legal for more than a couple of years.

The TAHU leader added, “This meant employers had to either ‘buy up’ and pay more to keep the plan they and their employees had become accustomed to, ‘buy down’ in order to keep the premium lower and have to change plans, or just shop for a new plan altogether.”

Employers everywhere, Clark noted, have faced uncertainty about their health insurance plans for years. Getting rid of this one rule will be a big step in bringing them peace of mind.

Information from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services may be found here:
https://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Programs-and-Initiatives/State-Innovation-Waivers/Section_1332_state_Innovation_Waivers-.html

A copy of the Texas legislature’s SB 1406 may be found here:
http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/85R/billtext/html/SB01406F.htm

Melissa Perryman
Texas Association of Health Underwriters

512.918.9095
melissap@perrymaninsurance.com

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