“Small Business Health Plans”: Undermining States’ Authority and a Recipe for Fewer Plan Choices and Higher Premiums

By Kevin Lucia and Sabrina Corlette

The Senate stands poised to debate the “Better Care Reconciliation Act” or BCRA. In addition to repealing several provisions of the Affordable Care Act, the bill introduces dramatic and unprecedented reforms to the insurance market for small businesses.

The provision at issue creates federally certified health plans that would be exempt from state insurance laws. Such plans, referred to as “Small Business Heath Plans” (SBHPs), would not have to comply with state consumer protection standards and would be allowed to cherry pick healthy employer groups away from the state-regulated small-group market.

In their latest article for The Commonwealth Fund’s To the Point blog, CHIR experts Kevin Lucia and Sabrina Corlette examine the rationale behind the SBHP provision and its likely impact on small businesses and the states’ historic authority to protect consumers, keep premiums affordable, and promote market competition. You can read the full blog post here.

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The opinions expressed here are solely those of the individual blog post authors and do not represent the views of Georgetown University, the Center on Health Insurance Reforms, any organization that the author is affiliated with, or the opinions of any other author who publishes on this blog.