California legislation that would have required that state’s health benefit exchange “facilitate the purchase of qualified health plans through the exchange by multi-employer plans” established under federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 will not move forward this year.
AB 710 (Pan) was held in the Assembly Appropriations Committee May 24. A committee analysis stated the bill would incur “unknown costs but likely to exceed $150,000 because of numerous uncertainties, including changes needed by the Exchange to accommodate the different structure of a multi-employer plan and potential impacts on the risk mix in the Exchange.”
A separate analysis prepared by the Assembly Health Committee notes multi-employer plans can contain both fully insured and self-insured options for members and small plans; plans for lower wage workers are more likely to be fully insured. “These plans will be especially at risk from competition if excluded from an Exchange,” the analysis notes.
The uncertainly facing multi-employer plan stakeholders in the post-Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act environment is the subject of this Associated Press story issued the same day AB 710 stalled in California.
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