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Group therapy? House OKS health purchasing alliances.

Trade associations and chambers of commerce may be able to offer lower-cost health insurance policies to their members, thanks to a bill approved May 12 by the New Hampshire House.

Under Senate Bill 408, local chambers of commerce and trade groups would be able to purchase employee health insurance, with the goal of reducing health insurance costs.

A provision requiring such groups to be in business for 10 years prevents groups from forming for just for this purpose. Such bills have been passed by the House before and have been killed in the Senate, but this one comes from the Senate, giving it a better chance of passage.

The House did tack on a study committee to look at how professional employment organizations provide health insurance to small employers who lease employees. These POEs have offered health insurance as if they were large employers, and the Insurance Department wants them rated under small groups, but some groups are worried that would increase rates to those businesses, so even a study might prove controversial and get in the way of the purchasing alliance bill.

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Author:Sanders, Bob
Publication:New Hampshire Business Review
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1U1NH
Date:May 21, 2010
Words:183
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