9/9/15 – Lindeen Urges Congress to Pass the Pace Act



NAIC testifies in support of state flexibility to define
small group health insurance market

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Sept. 9, 2015) NAIC President Monica J. Lindeen testified before Congress today on behalf of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). The hearing was held by the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health and focused on H.R. 1624 – Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees (PACE) Act. Lindeen spoke in support of the bill, which would allow states the option to define “small group” for the purposes of health insurance.

“The NAIC has endorsed the PACE Act because it would retain state flexibility to set the appropriate limits for the small group health insurance market and ensure stable small group markets that reflect the unique characteristics and dynamics at play in each of the states,” testified Lindeen, who also serves as the Montana Insurance Commissioner.

The Affordable Care Act changed the definition of “small group” for the purposes of health insurance from an employer with 1-50 employees to one with 1-100 employees. This change would subject mid-sized employers (those with 51-100 employees) to new rating restrictions and benefit requirements. These changes could increase costs to employers, limit flexibility and ultimately drive up premium costs for employees. The PACE Act gives states the opportunity to define “small group” in a manner consistent with their state’s demographic needs.

Another NAIC member, Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler, testified on behalf of his state against the legislation.

“States don’t always agree, and on an issue as controversial as health reform, that is certainly true,” said Lindeen. “What may work in Washington may not be right for Montana, which is why giving states options when it comes to federal rules is critical.”

Read Lindeen’s submitted testimony: NAIC President Monica J. Lindeen Urges Congress to Pass PACE Act.

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