***MEDIA ADVISORY*** Subcommittee to Examine Benefits of Self-Insured Health Plans
WASHINGTON, D.C., February 24, 2014
On Wednesday, February 26 at 10:00 a.m., the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions, chaired by Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN), will hold a hearing entitled, “Providing Access to Affordable, Flexible Health Plans through Self-Insurance.” The hearing will take place in room 2175 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
Employers who manage a self-insured health plan assume the financial risk of providing health benefits to his or her workers. Rather than contract with an insurance company, self-insured employers pay directly for the workers’ health care claims and services. An employer may work with a third-party to help process claims and benefit payments. Self-insured plans are governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act; in 2011 these plans provided insurance to approximately 60 percent of all employees covered by an employer-sponsored health plan.
Many self-insured employers purchase stop-loss insurance to protect against catastrophic claims and high costs. Although stop-loss insurance is regulated by the states, in February 2013 the New York Times reported Obama administration officials “were considering regulations to discourage small and midsize employers” from using stop-loss insurance. In correspondence with the committee, the administration has refused to confirm or deny whether it will issue a regulation affecting stop-loss insurance.
Wednesday’s hearing will provide members an opportunity to examine the benefits of self-insurance and discuss concerns about regulating stop-loss insurance at the federal level. To learn more about Wednesday’s hearing, visit /hearings.
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Mr. Michael Ferguson