The Protect Employer Health Plan Coalition (PEHP-C) was formed in 2015 in opposition to House Bill 552. The initial purpose of the Coalition was to identify, recruit and manage a coalition of Maryland small businesses that provide health benefits to their employees by using a self-funded health plan together with stop-loss insurance. Once these small business owners were identified, initial outreach consisted of personal meetings to explain to business owners the legislative background of the issue, including the circumstances resulting in passage of HB 552 during the 2015 Maryland General Assembly. Together with each business owner, we helped them develop a message in the form of a letter from them to their local legislator showing the effect of this legislation on their particular business, and the consequences to the business. These letters were submitted and are reflected in the Study.
Each letter provides a unique example of the employer’s use of MSLI, and the employer’s need for the product. These letters were written by employers located in (Baltimore County, Baltimore City, Frederick County and Wicomico County), and they covered a wide range of businesses and industries. Although copies of these letters were sent to some legislators at the time they were written, our Coalition members believe it is useful to provide all of the letters to all members of both legislative committees who deal with this important issue.
We also heard from many employers who did not submit letters to the MIA. In each case, the message of these employers was clear: they want and need the flexibility that MSLI provides in order to finance health benefits to their workforce. As one employer stated in meetings with legislator leadership, “This is not a choice between one group insurance plan and another group insurance plan. This is a choice between a self-funded plan (i.e., using MSLI) and no insurance plan at all for my employees.”
In addition to outreach to small employers, PEHP-C members participated in informational hearings held by the Maryland Insurance Administration (MIA) as required under the study provisions of HB 552, and to the extent they were available, we coordinated the attendance of PEHP-C members with that of brokers at local meetings scheduled by the MIA around the State. We arranged for meetings between PEHP-C members and local legislators, in the legislative district, to provide the message described above. And we continue to maintain communications with PEHP-C members to keep them informed on developments at the legislative and regulatory levels.
At this point, we are not aware of any plans to revisit this legislation during the 2017 Maryland General Assembly. Should an issue arise, however, our members and the businesses they represent will be ready to respond.
Click HERE to see the final Study prepared by the MIA.