Senate Bill No. 161
(By Senators Tomblin, Mr. President, and Sprouse,
By Request of the Executive)
[Originating in the Committee on Banking and Insurance;
reported February 26, 2004.]
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
A BILL to amend the code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by
adding thereto a new article, designated §33-47-1 and §33-47-
2, all relating to creating a West Virginia insurance plan;
providing findings; and directing the insurance commissioner
to study the feasibility of implementing the plan.
That the code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended
by adding thereto a new article, designated §33-47-1 and §33-47-2,
all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 47. MODEL HEALTH PLAN FOR UNINSURABLE INDIVIDUALS ACT.
The Legislature finds that certain high risk individuals are
unable to obtain insurance coverage for many reasons, including,
but not limited to, their health care status; that these
individuals are not associated with any group and therefore must obtain their insurance in the individual market place; that the
inability of these individuals to obtain insurance coverage is
exacerbated by the level of uncompensated care provided by our
health care providers and the resulting cost shift to private
The Legislature further finds that the state should
investigate and consider the establishment of a state-operated
program funded by the payment of premiums from the covered
individuals and a public revenue source dedicated to offset any
costs not covered by the individual's premium dollars.
The Legislature declares that the office of the insurance
commissioner is the appropriate entity to study this issue and make
a presentation of proposed legislation to the Legislature for
consideration at the next regular session to address this issue.
§33-47-2. State-operated program; study; report.
The commissioner is hereby directed to study the feasibility
and desirability of creating a state-operated program for
delivering health insurance coverage to otherwise uninsured members
of the public through the formation of a public body corporate to
contract with health care providers to offer medical services to
eligible individuals with compensation to providers at group
coverage rates. The commissioner shall consider the structure of
the organization, its powers, the eligibility requirements of
individuals insured by the pool, the benefits to be offered, the
costs of the covered product, the administration of the plan, the
funding mechanism for the plan and such other criteria deemed relevant by the commissioner. The commissioner shall report to the
legislature before the first day of January two thousand five with
findings and, if appropriate, with proposed legislation necessary
for implementing the program.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to direct the insurance
commission to study the feasibility of implementing a state-run
health plan for uninsurable individuals.
This article is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.)