Press Releases

Burgess Acts to Protect North Texans’ Health Care

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Washington, April 24, 2019 | comments

Washington, D.C. — Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), Republican Leader of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, recently introduced the Association Health Plans Act of 2019, which would protect Americans’ access to association health plans. This legislation would codify the Department of Labor’s association health plan rule, ensuring that individuals who have these plans can keep them. A federal District Court recently struck down this rule, threatening the health insurance coverage of North Texans who already are benefitting from the North Texas Employer Health Plan Cooperative.

“Association health plans expand opportunities for Americans to choose insurance that meets their needs, and for employers to provide quality insurance to their employees. As a physician who once owned my own practice, I am encouraged that these plans allow employers, by partnering together, to offer quality coverage that can be more affordable,” said Dr. Burgess. “This strategy is working – in North Texas, several chambers of commerce already have begun offering health plans to their members through the North Texas Employer Health Plan Cooperative. Although federal courts have jeopardized the individuals in North Texas and around the country who are covered by existing association health plans, I have introduced this legislation to protect Americans’ access to quality care.”

“Any opportunity to help small business owners offer quality health insurance to their employees should be a bipartisan priority,” said RaDonna Hessel, CEO of the Grapevine Chamber of Commerce and Chairman of the North Texas Employers Health Plan Cooperative. “We are excited that the North Texas Chambers, by working together, have created positive benefits for North Texas employees, and we are grateful to Congressman Burgess for his work to protect this vital resource for small businesses.”

Background:

Associations health plans allow small businesses and sole proprietors to band together to access the group insurance market, providing American workers and their families coverage that is fully compliant with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). Importantly, this form of employer-sponsored insurance cannot deny coverage or charge higher premiums to individuals with pre-existing conditions. Nearly 30 association health plans have been implemented under the Trump Administration’s rule.

For addition information on the bill, please see the full text of the Association Health Plans Act of 2019.

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