Private sector solution will lower health insurance costs

Many of Oklahoma’s small businesses can look forward to saving money, thanks to Governor Mary Fallin’s signing of Senate Bill 1621. The measure will allow small employers to purchase group insurance through an employer association, which can pool resources with like businesses.
Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak said, “SB 1621 has been a top priority this session because it will greatly strengthen Oklahoma’s business environment by allowing industry associations to offer large group policies to small employers. Today our elected officials have sent a clear message of support for the business community.”

Commissioner Doak expressed his appreciation to the Governor, as well as to Representative Glen Mulready and Senator Bill Brown for their hard work on the legislation.
The bill requires associations to meet the federal guidelines of a ‘bona fide’ association. The four requirements are: 1) the association must have been in existence for 5 years, 2) have been formed and maintained in good faith for purposes other than obtaining insurance, 3) the association cannot condition membership on any health-status related factor relating to any individual and 4) the association make the insurance available to all members regardless of health status.
“By creating economies of scale, Association Health Plans will produce lower insurance costs for Oklahoma’s small businesses,” Doak said.