Louisiana House Bill 472, which we have been alerting you to, can now be considered dead. This bill would have created a reinsurance program (in conjunction with House Bill 246) funded through an assessment on health insurers, health maintenance organizations, group self-insurers, and third-party administrators. For more on the bill, click here.
ERIC activated our network of allies in the state and submitted testimony to the Committee on House and Governmental Affairs stressing that the assessment and reporting requirements that would be required to comply with it would be preempted by ERISA. Louisiana was unique in its innovation waiver process in that it already had drafted an application before the authorization legislation was passed. So, we submitted comments directly to the Louisiana Department of Insurance on its state innovation waiver where we stressed how targeting TPAs with an assessment would adversely impact ERISA plans by leading to higher costs for no benefit, as well as through reporting requirements.
On May 17, a day before session ended, HB 472 failed in the Senate with a tie vote of 17-17, and it was not brought up again; however, there was a chance it could be brought up during special session, but that ended on June 4. Therefore, it is considered dead.
HB 246 did pass through the Legislature after an agreement was reached among leadership and stakeholders to move forward with an innovation waiver that doesn’t impact employer-sponsored coverage—which is great news. The state plans to apply for the waiver first and then come back to the Legislature for any needed additional authority, but it appears that nothing in the waiver will impact ERISA plans.
Article by Adam Greathouse, Health Care Policy Senior Associate