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									                          CAPITOL NEWS
              ASSURANT HEALTH GR UPDATE
                                    April 1, 2005

Federal – Congress in Recess
The House of Representatives will reconvene for legislative business on Tuesday, April
5. The Senate will reconvene on Monday, April 4.


For more information, please contact Laurel Call.

Colorado – MEWA Bills – One Dies, One Amended

Two Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangement (MEWA) bills in Colorado died or were
changed this week. HB 1193, the mandatory MEWA coverage bill, died in the House
Business Affairs Committee. This bill would have required small employer carriers
doing business in the state to offer to underwrite MEWAs, and to offer standard and
basic health benefit plans to MEWAs at the same rates charged to small employers.

The other MEWA bill (SB 103), which offered an increase rate exemption to all small
employers was amended. The change makes the exemption apply only to employers in
fully insured MEWAs who have to leave the MEWA because they have changed
employment or corporate status, and that change must be for reasons other than health
status of employees.

For more information, please contact Scot Zajic.

Florida – DOI Legislative Package Passes Committee
On March 31, the House Insurance Committee passed HB1503, which is the Office of
Insurance Regulation’s legislative package. Assurant Health’s retained counsel was
successful in removing an onerous provision from the bill that would have mandated
annual rate increases for a closed form or closed block of forms with similar benefits
could not exceed medical trend.


For more information, please contact Laura Riske.




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Florida – List Billing Passes Committee

The list billing bill continues to make good progress through the legislature. On March
30, the House Health Care General Committee passed HB 811.
List billing enables small employers to facilitate their employees’ purchase of individual
coverage through bookkeeping services. Under the bill, the employer would be able to
deduct the insurance premium from the employees’ payroll check and submit the
payment to the insurance company. The employer would have no financial obligation
toward the employees’ premium.

Assurant Health is currently working with retained counsel in Florida to improve the bill
by removing the requirement that an employer must be uninsured for the prior three
months in order to be eligible to list bill.

For more information, please contact Laura Riske.

Georgia – Legislature Adjourns – Commission to Study Funding for
High Risk Pools
The legislature adjourned on March 31. HB 320, a high risk pool bill that creates a
legislative commission to study various funding mechanisms for the pool, passed. The
legislative commission must provide a recommendation on high risk pool funding by the
end of 2005.

The bill now goes to the Governor for his signature. It is expected that he will sign the
bill into law.

For more information, please contact Scot Zajic.

Hawaii – Discretionary Clause Bill Update

HB 106, which includes language prohibiting the use of discretionary clauses in health
insurance contracts, was heard in the Senate Commerce, Consumer Protection, and
House Committee. Part two of HB 106 is identical to language included in SB 140,
which is stalled in the House. America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) submitted
testimony in opposition to part two of HB 106.


For more information, please contact Laura Riske.




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Minnesota - Universal Health Care Legislation Introduced

Two bills (HB 2175 and companion bill, SB 1933) that would establish a statewide
health insurance program were introduced on March 29. The bills:

   •   establish a single payer system in the state;
   •   require every plan in the state to offer coverage to all applicants; and
   •   charge community rates.

Assurant Health is working with the state and national trade associations on defeating
these bills and others that inhibit private market approaches to health insurance.
Assurant Health will provide updates on the bills and our efforts in future editions of
Capitol News.

For more information, please contact Scot Zajic.

Mississippi – HSA State Tax Deduction Bill Signed by Governor

On March 29, Governor Haley Barbour signed HB 1213 into law. This bill provides a
state tax deduction for Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). Mississippi joins over thirty
states across the country that offers a state tax deduction/exemption to HSA
consumers.
This type of legislation is an important step toward making health care more accessible
and more affordable in Mississippi. Assurant Health commends the legislature and
Governor Barbour for making this possible.

For more information, please contact Laura Riske.

Missouri – Governor Signs Tort Reform Legislation
On March 29, Governor Matt Blunt signed HB 393 requiring injury lawsuits to be filed
where the injury took place; limiting the amount that defendants found partly responsible
have to pay; and limiting damages for pain and suffering to a maximum of $350,000.

Assurant Health supports the passage of tort reform legislation as medical liability is one
of the leading health care cost drivers.

For more information, please contact Laura Riske.




Montana – Governor Signs Tort Reform Bills
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Governor Brian Schweitzer signed four medical liability bills passed by the legislature:
   •   HB 24 provides that statements expressing apologies relating to the pain or
       death of a person is not admissible as evidence of an admission of liability in a
       civil action for medical liability;
   •   HB 25 provides that a health care provider is not liable for an act by a person that
       was not an employee of the health care provider at the time that the act occurred;
   •   HB 26 provides that liability may not be imposed on a health care provider for an
       act by a person alleged to have been an ostensible agent of the health care
       provider at the time that the act or omission occurred; and
   •   HB 64 provides criteria for who may testify as an expert witness in a medical
       liability case.
All bills become effective July 1, 2005.

For more information, please contact Laura Riske.

New Hampshire – Repealing Small Group Reforms

HB 611, a bill that repeals small group reforms made last year, passed the House (256-
105) this week.

The Senate passed its bill, SB 125, which would amend the state's health insurance
policies; disallowing insurers the ability to set premium rates based on health or
geography. The bill also would establish a reinsurance pool for high-risk individuals
funded by a monthly premium surcharge of about 60 cents per member.

Gov. John Lynch announced the appointment of a task force to study ways to rein in
rising health care costs and improve public health and the efficiency of medical care.

Assurant Health was a leading advocate for reforming New Hampshire’s small group
market as a means to increase competition and provide more affordable insurance
options for the state’s small employers. Once the reforms were enacted last year,
Assurant Health re-entered or broaden its market presence in the New Hampshire small
group market.

The company experienced growing interest within the agent and small employer
communities for our consumer driven health care products such as Health Savings
Accounts (HSAs) and Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs).




Small group reforms that offer insurers greater rating flexibility play a critical role in
establishing and maintaining a competitive insurance market. Assurant Health

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advocates rating based on health history, age, gender, industry, group size and
geographic area. Demographic rating is critical for carriers to effectively manage health
insurance risks and to keep premiums at appropriate levels.

Restrictions such as community rating, adjusted community rating, and compressed
rate bands have proven to restrict competition in the marketplace, thereby driving up
premiums and increasing the states’ uninsured population.

For more information, please contact Scot Zajic

North Dakota - Committee Passes Appropriations Bill Containing Loss
Ratio Amendment
On March 31, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed HB 1010 that included an
amendment introduced by Insurance Commissioner Jim Poolman by a vote of 9-4. The
amendment changes the loss ratio from the current 75 percent to a percent of premium
received as determined by the insurance commissioner.

Assurant Health will be discussing this bill with AHIP and other member companies in
the upcoming week and provide updated information about the activity of this bill in
future editions of Capitol News.

For more information, please contact Scot Zajic.


Pennsylvania – HSA Bill Passes House Insurance Committee

On March 30, HB 107, a bill that would provide for a state tax deduction for HSAs
passed the House Insurance Committee. In addition, the companion bill in the Senate
(SB 300) passed the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee on March 15th. SB 300
is sponsored by the Chair of this Committee, Senator Gib Armstrong.

Assurant Health strongly supports both bills, and has worked closely with key legislators
in the Commonwealth. Government Relations has been coordinating with our national
and trade associations, and business partners to ensure passage of this legislation.

For more information, please contact Laura Riske.




Pennsylvania – Hearing on Small Group Rating Bill

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Representative Nick Micozzie (R), Chair of the House Insurance Committee, introduced
small group legislation which would permit demographic rating and medical
underwriting. The bill is scheduled for a hearing on April 5th where testimony from all
interested parties will be heard, but no vote by the Committee will be taken.
Our state trade association, Insurance Federation of Pennsylvania (IFP), will testify at
the hearing; stating that the bill is a step in the right direction for commercial carriers
which need rating flexibility and medical underwriting. However, IFP will emphasize its
continued support for Governor Rendell’s tiered rating approach for the small group
market. Government Relations staff will travel to Harrisburg to attend the hearing.

For more information, please contact Laura Riske.

Tennessee – TennCare Update

A hearing on the timetable for cuts to TennCare and how this will work into the state
budget began this week in federal court. As reported last week, the federal government
approved many of the governor’s planned cuts to the program, including cutting over
300,000 people from TennCare. However, the state may still be months away from
actually dropping people from the rolls, and continuing financial uncertainty for the
program could put a squeeze on the rest of the state budget. A federal judge has
stopped all TennCare cuts until completion of the hearing.

For more information, please contact Laura Riske.

Wisconsin – Tax Deduction Legislation Passes Committee

On March 29th, AB 6, a bill that would create an individual income tax deduction for
amounts spent on medical insurance premiums, passed the Joint Committee on
Finance. Our state trade association, Wisconsin Association of Life and Health Insurers
(WALHI), testified in support of the bill. On April 5th, AB 6 will be heard before the
Senate Rules Committee.
Assurant Health supports legislation that offers consumers a tax credit or tax deduction
for the purchase of individual health insurance coverage in the private market.

For more information, please contact Laura Riske.

Wisconsin – HSA State Tax Deduction Bill Passes Committee
On March 30th, AB 4, a bill that would provide a state tax deduction for HSAs, was
passed by the Senate Health, Children, Aging and Long Term Care Committee. In
January, AB 4 passed the Assembly by a vote of 62-34. The bill now moves to the
Senate floor for consideration and could be heard as early as next week.

Our state trade association, WALHI, testified in support of the bill. Our national trade
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association, AHIP, registered their support at the hearing. Shortly, Assurant Health will
mount a grassroots campaign in the state to help urge Governor Doyle to sign this bill,
and an action alert will be issued to grassroots contacts in the state.

For more information, please contact Laura Riske.



Call LeClair’s Health Team at 1-877-532-5247 with any questions.




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