Insurance Competition – the Policy Prescription

February 13, 2011 by  

State insurance laws have created significant barriers to competition in the health insurance market.  These 4 bills, if passed, will level the playing field and allow families and businesses health insurance options and transparency.

SB 1590 Pooling by Choice (held this session)

Allow for voluntary risk pooling with Arizona based “association health plans”.
 
Bigger businesses pay 20% less on average than small businesses.  Using ERISA law as the main framework, where already 70% of the commercial insurance market is regulated (including all state and municipal employees, Banner, Blue Cross, United Health Care, Aetna, Vanguard, University Physicians), the law creates the opportunity for businesses to form their own purchasing alliances – and maintain control over the data and decisions.
  
SB 1593 – Interstate Health Insurance Purchase –
 
Allowing Arizonans to purchase insurance across state lines, and allowing those with out-of-state insurance to keep their insurance when they move or expand businesses to Arizona.
 
This law can be unilaterally passed by Arizona with adequate and appropriate consumer protections so that the number of insurance choices and competition in the marketplace expands overnight.  Small businesses looking to expand to Arizona can do so without fear that insurance will be unobtainable once they arrive.  Most large businesses can do this already as  they are “self-insured” under ERISA.
SB 1592  Pass the Health Care Compact
 
Over 200 compacts exist across the nation already.  Under Article 1, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution, compacts approved by Congress allow the compact to supersede federal regulation.  The Health Care Compact allows for maximum state flexibility to innovate and better manage the health care market and the Medicare and Medicaid systems that threaten Arizona’s solvency.  To find out which states are participating so far see: HealthCareCompact.org.

 

SB 1591 Insurance Claims Data

Giving small businesses the same access to data as bigger companies, so they can make better health care decisions.
 
Based upon the Texas law that was passed in 2008 with a unanimous vote, this law ensures that accurate claims and utilization data is in the hands of small business purchasers of health care.

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