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Small Business Legislation Pending in the Senate

Date: 03/21/2006 | Category: Business | Author: Heather Long

Things are moving and shaking for Small Businesses and the issues they’ve had with getting insurance coverage.

Under legislation pending in the Senate:

Associations could pool independently from the underlying small group market and offer health insurance to their members 

These plans must be fully insured and offered through licensed insurers 

Plans can vary from state coverage mandates, but if they do so, they must also offer an alternative that provides the same benefits as a state employee health plan in one of the five largest states
 
Associations can’t condition membership or coverage on health status 

States will regulate these plans.

Insurance companies could sell mandate-exempt plans directly, but also would have to offer a high-end alternative.

 

Similar legislation has passed the House eight times, but never got anywhere in the Senate — until now. Months of negotiations among small business groups, insurance companies and state regulators have produced a compromise bill that appears to be headed for a Senate vote in May 

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