BILL SUMMARY for HB09-1349
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON BUSINESS AFFAIRS AND LABOR
|Votes: View--> ||Action Taken: |
|Moved to refer House Bill 09-1349 to the Committee||PASS|
11:16 AM -- House Bill 09-1349
Vice-chairman Casso called the committee to order. Representative Fischer, prime sponsor, presented House Bill 09-1349 concerning a special election period for the continuation of health care coverage after involuntary termination from employment. This bill provides a special election period to certain individuals who were involuntarily terminated from employment between September 1, 2008, and February 16, 2009, to choose health insurance continuation coverage. Employers are required to send a written notice to qualified individuals about the special election period. Coverage must be elected within 60 days of the date of the notice. Health insurance coverage providers are required to give employers the information necessary to fulfill the notification requirements. In addition, the bill extends by 1 day the eligibility period for enrollment in CoverColorado. The bill is effective upon signature of the Governor, or upon becoming law without his signature.
Current law requires group health plans sponsored by employers with less than 20 employees to offer employees and their families the opportunity for continuation coverage in certain instances where coverage under the plan would otherwise end. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) provides a special election period for workers covered by the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), but states have the option of providing this for state continuation coverage. Under ARRA, a 65 percent premium subsidy is available for continued coverage for workers eligible under COBRA or state continued coverage. The subsidy is to be reimbursed to health insurance coverage providers through a federal tax credit.
11:20 AM -- Denise De Percin, representing the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative, testified in support of the bill. She talked about the importance of health care coverage and mentioned that the bill uses federal stimulus money. Representative Stephens asked how much the bill will cost small businesses. Ms. De Percin said the employer does not pay any of the subsidy, they would only have to cover the administrative costs. There was a discussion about the time frame for coverage provided in the bill. Representative Fischer responded to the concerns over the cost the bill will have on businesses.
11:26 AM -- Dayle Axman, representing the Colorado Division of Insurance, came to the table to respond to questions. Representative Stephens asked whether the bill will cost money to small businesses. Ms. Axman explained that the subsidy is carried by the insurance carrier, the employer does not contribute. The business will only need to provide the information of who is eligible for the program to the insurance company.
Representative Fischer gave some closing remarks on the bill and talked about COBRA coverage.
|TIME: || 11:31:14 AM|
|MOTION:||Moved to refer House Bill 09-1349 to the Committee of the Whole. The motion passed 9-0-2.|
Final YES: 9 NO: 0 EXC: 2 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: PASS