February Legislative Update

A brief update on current events in legislation…

Last month\’s TAHU legislative call was focused on the 40 hour bill (HB & SB 30) which passed the House and is now pending in the Senate. Speculation is a compromise will be struck setting 35 hours as the definition of a Full Time Employee.

On the state level, Lee Manross briefed the participants on two bills being watched by TAHU. HB616/HB574 would regulate the amount plans would be required to pay to out of network providers, as well as set parameters on a providers ability to balance bill a patient. The second bill is a mediation bill that would provide consumers a process of resolving claims disputes.

Lee went on to mention that the 84th legislature is just getting underway, but an average of 6000 bills are filed during each session and of those approximately 1500 will actually be passed.

The Region VI call centered on the 40 hour bill as mentioned above, and also went over the revival of the call for the agent/broker commission be carved out of the MLR. Several of our allies that supported this are no longer in office so new congressmen are being courted to sign on.

There was also preliminary discussions about the Medicare AEP being moved until after the annual ACA open enrollment. This would be easier than changing the ACA open enrollment because it would be a regulatory change rather than a statutory change.

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