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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
BERYL ANTHONY, JR., Arkansas

FRED GRANDY, Iowa
BYRON L. DORGAN, North Dakota
BARBARA B. KENNELLY, Connecticut
BRIAN J. DONNELLY, Massachusetts
WILLIAM J. COYNE, Pennsylvania
MICHAEL A. ANDREWS, Texas
SANDER M. LEVIN, Michigan
JIM MOODY, Wisconsin
BENJAMIN L. CARDIN, Maryland
JIM MCDERMOTT, Washington

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
SANDER M. LEVIN, Michigan

RAYMOND J. MCGRATH, New York
JIM MOODY, Wisconsin
BENJAMIN L. CARDIN, Maryland

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PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE REFORM

LEGISLATION

THURSDAY, MARCH 12, 1992

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
COMMITTEE ON WAYS AND MEANS,
SUBCOMMITTEE ON HEALTH,

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:]

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, MARCH 2, 1992

PRESS RELEASE #24
SUBCOMMITTEE ON HEALTH
COMMITTEE ON WAYS AND MEANS
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
1102 LONGWORTH HOUSE OFFICE BLDG.
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20515
TELEPHONE: (202) 225-7785

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.

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