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Ohio independent agents urge senators to help businesses with health insurance options

Senate Bill 227 Testimony - Alex Due - Stapleton InsuranceSenate Bill 227 Testimony - Brian Thompson - Hummel GroupTwo OIA members recently urged members of the Senate Insurance and Financial Institutions Committee to pass legislation that would require health insurers to release certain aggregate claims information to group plan policyholders.

OIA member Alex Due of Stapleton Insurance Group in Sylvania testified in conjunction with OIA’s Government Affairs Manager Carolyn Mangas. Brian Thompson of the Hummel Group, who is also an OIA member, testified in support of the bill on behalf of the Ohio Association of Health Underwriters (OAHU).

Read full testimony

About the bill

Sponsored by Sen. Matt Huffman (R-Lima), S.B. 227 will provide a solution to a problem that OIA members have brought to our attention over the last several years.

By allowing risk advisors and employers access to claims data, Ohio employers can make better decisions regarding properly assessing health care options to potentially reduce their health care costs.

While this claims data is typically available to employers with 100-plus employees, it is not available to those that fall below this threshold. The lack of this data hinders the ability of risk advisers and employers to pursue additional funding arrangements that have become available in the last several years.

Ultimately, S.B. 227 would empower risk advisors and employers with the ability to better design a health insurance program that balances the level of risk and reward.

Notably, both Louisiana and Texas have similar laws in place to require health insurers to release claims data.

Several others testified in support of S.B. 227 in addition to OIA and OAHU. Opponents of the bill include the association that represents the health insurance companies and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, who cited concerns that employers could identify employees with serious health conditions and discriminate against them.

To date, S.B. 227 has received three hearings in the Senate Insurance & Financial Institutions Committee.

OIA is working with the OAHU to push for an amendment to the bill so that it will apply to employers with more than 50 employees to alleviate some privacy concerns. OIA will keep members informed as discussions on this legislation continue.