Missouri Business Headlines

Committee approves bill to help small businesses save on health insurance

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In 2017, a new type of health insurance offering came to Missouri — a multiple employer welfare arrangement or MEWA, which enables smaller employers to pool together and share in the overall claims risk.

This has given many small businesses in Missouri significant cost savings while maintaining or increasing the quality of coverage.

However, current Missouri law prohibits brokers and providers from marketing MEWA plans to the public — making it nearly impossible for small employers to find out about this option.

House Bill 942 by House Speaker Pro Tem John Wiemann seeks to change state statute to allow public marketing of approved MEWA plans.

The bill was voted out of the House rules committee on April 1 and can now proceed to the House floor.

The Missouri Chamber, which launched a MEWA in 2017, is the leading advocate on this issue.

“The problem is, we can talk to our members or the local chambers with which we are affiliated, but we can’t talk to anybody who is not a member,” said Missouri Chamber COO Brendan Cossette during the bill’s initial hearing. “So, if somebody came into a broker’s office and said, ‘I’ve got three people, a small shop, and I would like to provide health insurance to my employees’…If they aren’t a member of a chamber, the broker cannot mention this product at all.”

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