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. The bill
changes that date to January 1, 2010 allows a MEWA that does not meet this deadline 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 bill 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; except that, if the commissioner grants 5 consecutive waivers, a MEWA may continue to operate without again applying for a waiver.
The bill 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: Italicized words indicate new material added to the original summary; dashes through words indicate deletions from the original summary.)
(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)