Current law allows an existing association consisting of multiple employers, referred to as a "multiple employer welfare arrangement" (MEWA), to offer health-care benefits to the association's members only if, among other requirements, the MEWA has been in existence continuously since at least January 1, 1983, and is engaged in substantial activities for its employer members other than the sponsorship of an employee welfare benefit plan.
The act allows a MEWA that does not meet these requirements to file an application for a waiver with the commissioner of insurance that, if granted, would enable the MEWA to offer health-care benefits to its members' employees. The act specifies the application requirements, substantive requirements that a MEWA must comply with to qualify for a waiver, and factors that the commissioner will consider in determining whether to grant a waiver. If a waiver is granted, the MEWA is subject to the division of insurance's full enforcement authority, and the MEWA may operate for 2 years. To operate past the 2 years, a MEWA must reapply for a waiver, but if the commissioner grants 5 consecutive waivers, a MEWA may continue to operate without again applying for a waiver.
The act also appropriates $13,352 from the division of insurance cash fund to the department of regulatory agencies for use by the division of insurance to implement the act.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)