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SB161 SUB1 Senate Bill 161 History

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SB161 SUB1
COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE

FOR

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.]

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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.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
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.
§33-47-1. Findings.

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 payers.
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.
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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.)
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