The Attack on Self-Insurance

by Thomas Emerick

First posted on Cracking Health Costs 9/13/2013

Tom Emerick, Host of Cracking Health Costs
Tom Emerick, Host of Cracking Health Costs

This is the title of a WSJ op-ed.

ERISA has provided a haven for employers to avoid costly state insurance laws and taxes.  If employers lose the ERISA preemption it could increase the costs of their health plans by around 5-14% depending on which states laws govern.  One of the reasons for the ERISA  preemption in the first place was to encourage employers to sponsor health plans and for their employees.

According to the oped the ERISA preemption is under assault by politicians who want employers to be forced to buy insured plans, thereby propping up ACA.

“…the White House, liberal pressure groups and state and federal regulators are trying to close what they call the self-insurance ‘loophole’ before more escape (into self-insurance status). Their political and actuarial fear is that if enough businesses don’t join, the exchanges could fail because too few younger and healthier people will subsidize everybody else.”

If more and more employers move to self-insurance, “…the…Center for American Progress warns that ‘the result of this shift could cause an insurance premium death spiral (in exchanges).’ “

This is scary. Inasmuch as one of the biggest risks US companies face is runaway health care costs, erasing ERISA would be destructive.

Click here to read the story.

Thomas G. Emerick is the President of Emerick Consulting, LLC and Host of Cracking Health Costs. Tom´s years with Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Burger King Corporation, British Petroleum, and American Fidelity Assurance Company have provided an excellent blend of experience and contacts. His last position with Wal-Mart was Vice President, Global Benefit Design. Tom has served on a variety of employer coalitions and associations, including being on the board of the influential National Business Group on Health, the U. S. Chamber of Commerce Benefit Committee, and many others. Frequently in demand as a speaker for benefits and health care conferences, such as the internationally known World Health Care Congress, Tom´s topics include strategic health plan design, global health care challenges, health care economics, and evidence-based medicine.

1 COMMENT

  1. Suggestion: one-payer. Skip the Middle-man entirely, as seen with Direct Primary Care. So much manpower is used filling out multitudes of forms to submit to companies that skim a profit while not providing services or research. We need to enact many cost saving measures to reform our system. The ultimate goal is for everyone to be as healthy as possible, not for every insurance company to be as healthy as possible.

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