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Minutes for HB2059 - Committee on Insurance

Short Title

Exempting certain association health plans from requirements pertaining to small employer health plans.

Minutes Content for Mon, Feb 4, 2019

Chairperson Vickrey opened the hearing for HB 2059.

Assistant Revisor Eileen Ma briefed the members on the bill. She said it was the last of the related association health plan bills. Ma said the bill struck the provision on page 2, lines 26-29 because small employer group policies available through one or more associations would qualify as large group policies under the Department of Labor's new rule. The bill also fixed technical and language issues. It would be effective April 1, 2019, when the new rule pertaining to self-funded association health plans went into effect (Attachment 1)

The chairperson noted that the following proponents had previously provided testimony regarding this bill and the related AHP bills:

Ken White, Kansas Independent Oil and Gas Association in support of the related AHP bills (See January 28, 2019, minutes).

Will Larson, Attorney, Kansas Association of Insurance Agents in support of the related AHP bills (See January 30, 2019, minutes).

Mark Dugan, Opportunity Solutions Project in support of the related AHP bills (See January 28, 2019, minutes ).

Chairperson Vickrey asked if the members had any questions for the proponents. Representative Neighbors said she had received a question from an attorney about the new rules on on self-funded associations asking if it would ruin their existing plan. Revisor Ma answered that she had been asked to prepare an amendment that would apply the new AHP rules only prospectively to association health plans and that should take care of these situations. 

Representative Frownfelter asked if the AHP bills would apply to self-insured plans such as what BP had. Revisor Ma said the related bills pertained only to association health plans and that self-insured plans would not be touched by the new bills.

Representative Bishop asked about the plans exempted from oversight by law by the state insurance commissioner. Would they be exempt by state law or by rule? Revisor Ma answered K.S.A.40-2222 was a state law, still existing, and those entities would not be subject to the commissioner's jurisdiction. Also discussed was who would have jurisdiction over consumer protections.  

Chairperson Vickrey asked if there were any opponents to the bill.

Jordan Feuerborn submitted written testimony in opposition to the bill. She said the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network had opposed previous federal initiatives to encourage the growth of Association Health Plans because these plans might deny coverage, choose to not cover services or charge higher premiums for those with preexisting conditions. Providing Kansas access to affordable, comprehensive health care coverage was critical in the fight against cancer (Attachment 2).

Having no more questions, Chairperson Vickrey closed the hearing for HB 2059.