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DAN ROSTENKOWSKI, Illinois, Chairman SAM M. GIBBONS, Florida
BILL ARCHER, Texas J.J. PICKLE, Texas
GUY VANDER JAGT, Michigan CHARLES B. RANGEL, New York
PHILIP M. CRANE, Illinois FORTNEY PETE STARK, California
DICK SCHULZE, Pennsylvania ANDY JACOBS, JR., Indiana
BILL GRADISON, Ohio HAROLD E. FORD, Tennessee
BILL THOMAS, California ED JENKINS, Georgia
RAYMOND J. MCGRATH, New York THOMAS J. DOWNEY, New York
ROD CHANDLER, Washington FRANK J. GUARINI, New Jersey
E. CLAY SHAW, JR., Florida MARTY RUSSO, Illinois
DON SUNDQUIST, Tennessee DON J. PEASE, Ohio
NANCY L. JOHNSON, Connecticut ROBERT T. MATSUI, California
JIM BUNNING, Kentucky
FRED GRANDY, Iowa
ROBERT J. LEONARD, Chief Counsel and Staff Director
PHILLIP D. MOSELEY, Minority Chief of Staff
SUBCOMMITTEE ON HEALTH
FORTNEY PETE STARK, California, Chairman MARTY RUSSO, Ilinois
BILL GRADISON, Ohio BRIAN J. DONNELLY, Massachusetts
ROD CHANDLER, Washington WILLIAM J. COYNE, Pennsylvania
NANCY L. JOHNSON, Connecticut
RAYMOND J. MCGRATH, New York
PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE REFORM
THURSDAY, MARCH 12, 1992
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, DC. The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 10 a.m., in room 1100, Longworth House Office Building, Hon. Fortney Pete Stark (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
[The press release announcing the hearing, and copies of the bills, H.R. 2121, H.R. 1565, and H.R. 3626, follow:]
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRESS RELEASE #24
THE HONORABLE PETE STARK (D., CALIF.) CHAIRMAN,
SUBCOMMITTEE ON HEALTH, COMMITTEE ON WAYS AND MEANS, U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
ANNOUNCES A HEARING ON PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE REFORM LEGISLATION, INCLUDING H.R. 2121, H.R. 1565, AND H.R. 3626
The Honorable Pete Stark (D., Calif.), Chairman, Subcommittee on Health, Committee on Ways and Means, U.S. House of Representatives, announced today that the Subcommittee will hold a hearing on private health insurance reform legislation, including H.R. 2121, introduced by Chairman Stark; H.R. 1565, introduced by Mrs. Johnson, Mr. Chandler, et al; and, H.R. 3626, introduced by Chairman Rostenkowski, Mr. Matsui, Mr. Pease, Mr. Ford of Tennessee, et al. The hearing will be held on Thursday, March 12, 1992, beginning at 10:00 a.m., in the main Committee hearing room, 1100 Longworth House office Building.
Oral testimony will be heard from invited witnesses only. However, any individual or organization may submit a written statement for consideration by the Subcommittee and for inclusion in the printed record of the hearing. BACKGROUND
Various practices of the insurance industry appear to increase the problems faced by employers in purchasing health insurance.
The wide use of experience rating to set premiums, as opposed to community rating, may increase prices to some small businesses, Other underwriting practices which may increase the difficulties of small business in purchasing insurance include exclusion of pre-existing conditions, large rate increases for firms with older workers or where a worker or dependent has the misfortune to contract a serious illness, segregation of workers with high risks from group rates, coverage denials, and refusals to renew insurance.
Testimony will be heard on three proposals before the Committee relating to reform of the private health insurance system.
H.R. 2121, introduced by Chairman Stark, would require all insurance companies to offer community-rated policies on a continuous open-enrollment basis. Rate variation would not be allowed within a Metropolitan Statistical Area. Medical underwriting would not be allowed. Pre-existing condition exclusions would be limited. Insurers would be required to offer a minimum benefit plan. Companies which did not meet the standards would be subject to an excise tax.
H.R. 1565, introduced by Mrs. Johnson, would require the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (N.A.I.C.) to develop model regulations regarding the small group health insurance market (businesses with 3 to 25 employees.) If the N.A.I.C. did not act, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services would develop the standards. States would be expected to adopt the standards and, if within 18 months a State did not act, the Secretary would enforce the standards.