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Small-employer health insurance

Published (6/1/2010)
By Nick Busse
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A state-level working group will explore the possibility of increasing the employee cap on the small-employer health insurance market from 50 to 100 employees.

Sponsored by Rep. Diane Loeffler (DFL-Mpls) and Sen. Linda Scheid (DFL-Brooklyn Park), a new law establishes the working group under the Department of Commerce. The group will study and analyze the implications of expanding the small-employer market to 100 employees, and report on the options available “to increase rate predictability and stability.”

The 20-member group will include lawmakers, representatives of business and insurance lobbying groups, and representatives of small businesses. Among the topics to be addressed in the report, which is to be submitted to the Legislative Commission on Health Care Access, include:

• cost for employers, employees, brokers and health plans;

• underwriting concerns and rating requirements; and

• creating a uniform application form.

As originally drafted, the language would have actually increased the size of the small-group health insurance market from 50 to 100 employees. The conference committee removed the provision, opting to include only the study.

The law takes effect Aug. 1, 2010, and the working group is to disband by June 30, 2011.

HF2163/ SF1905*/CH370

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