HBA-ATS H.B. 1919 76(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 1919 By: Gallego Insurance 3/22/1999 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Health insurance mandates require insurers and managed care plans to provide specific benefits, treatments, and services to individuals who participate in their health care plans. Although mandates provide more comprehensive care by specifying the type of care that must be provided, there are risks associated with mandating certain health benefits. One concern is that mandated health benefits may require services that are not essential to maintain good health. Another concern is that they may increase health costs, including insurance premiums, because insurers will have to raise prices to offset expenditures for meeting mandated provisions. Consumers faced with higher insurance premiums may decline coverage completely or seek alternatives. In addition, increased costs may make it difficult for small firms to provide insurance packages to their employees. H.B. 1919 requires the Texas Health Care Information Council to provide a written analysis of a proposed mandate if requested to do so by certain members of the legislature or certain legislative agencies. This bill also creates the Health Benefit Mandate Review Board (board) to analyze existing mandates. The board is required to recommend to the legislature whether existing mandates should be retained, revised, or eliminated. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking authority is expressly delegated to the commissioner of insurance in SECTION 1.01 (Article 3.97-2, Insurance Code) of this bill. SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS ARTICLE 1. REVIEW OF AND LIMITATIONS ON HEALTH CARE BENEFIT MANDATES SECTION 1.01. AMENDMENT. Amends Chapter 3, Insurance Code, by adding Subchapter K, as follows: SUBCHAPTER K. REVIEW AND IMPLEMENTATION OF HEALTH CARE BENEFIT MANDATES Art. 3.97-1. DEFINITIONS. Defines "council," "health benefit plan," "health care benefit mandate," and "offer of coverage mandate." Art. 3.97-2. IMPLEMENTATION BY COMMISSIONER. (a) Requires the commissioner of insurance (commissioner) to strictly construe a health benefit mandate (mandate) and adopt rules to implement a mandate in strict compliance with state or federal law. Art. 3.97-3. ANALYSIS BY TEXAS HEALTH CARE INFORMATION COUNCIL. (a) Requires the Texas Health Care Information Council (council) to provide a written analysis of a proposed mandate if requested to do so by certain elected officials or legislative agencies. (b) Enumerates the criteria required to be considered by the council when it analyzes a proposed mandate. SECTION 1.02. EFFECTIVE DATE. Effective date of this article: September 1, 1999. ARTICLE 2. HEALTH CARE BENEFIT MANDATE REVIEW BOARD SECTION 2.01. DEFINITIONS. Defines "board," "commissioner," "health benefit plan," "health care benefit mandate," and "offer of coverage mandate." SECTION 2.02. POWERS AND DUTIES. (a) Establishes the composition of the Health Benefit Mandate Review Board (board). (b) Authorizes the board to appoint committees, employ staff, and enter into contracts with public and private entities for the collection and analysis of data. (c) Provides that a member of the board is not entitled to receive compensation, but is entitled to reimbursement for travel expenses incurred while conducting board business. (d) Requires appointments to the board to be made without regard to race, color, disability, sex, religion, age, or national origin. Requires the governor to consider geographical consideration when making appointments to the board. SECTION 2.03. REVIEW OF EXISTING HEALTH CARE BENEFIT MANDATES. (a) Enumerates the criteria required to be considered by the board when it analyzes each mandate. (b) Authorizes the board to adopt additional criteria. (c) Requires the board to recommend that, if the benefit of a mandate exceeds its cost, the mandate should be retained. Requires the board to recommend that, if the cost of a mandate exceeds its benefit, the mandate should be eliminated or revised. (d) Requires the board to issue a written report of its recommendations for the retention, elimination, or revision of each mandate that is in effect or that becomes effective before January 1, 2001, and to distribute that report to certain elected officials. Requires the board to publish the report on the Internet. (e) Requires the board, by January 1, 2001, to complete its review of each mandate that is in effect or that becomes effective before January 1, 2001. SECTION 2.04. EFFECTIVE DATE; EXPIRATION. Effective date of this article: September 1, 1999. Provides that the board is abolished and this article expires December 31, 2001. ARTICLE 3. EMERGENCY SECTION 3.01. EMERGENCY. Emergency clause.