Action Alert!
by Jeff Olson
CUAD President/CEO
2/12/2018

House Bill 1287, legislation to revise certain provisions regarding Self-Funded Multiple Employer Trusts, has been introduced in the South Dakota House of Representatives by prime sponsor Lynne DiSanto from District 35 in Pennington County. The bill will receive its first committee hearing on Wednesday, February 14, 2018, after being assigned to the House Commerce and Energy Committee. CUAD lobbyists along with other credit union professionals will be active in Pierre this week, preparing for committee testimony and helping to galvanize support behind this important legislation which would amend South Dakota statutes to give South Dakota credit unions the opportunity to offer a Self-Funded Multiple Employer Trust Health Plan to its employees. Currently, there are several impediments in South Dakota statute that make it relatively difficult for any association, including CUAD, to sponsor a Self-Funded Multiple Employer Trust. H.B. 1287 would remove those impediments and allow CUAD to offer our current Trust that is now offered to North Dakota credit unions, to our South Dakota members. Here is what you need to know.

A Self-Funded Multiple Employer Trust is a self-funded health insurance arrangement for organizations and associations in a similar industry model to set up, and operate their own health benefit trust plan for affiliated members and their employees. It is designed with small business needs in mind, helping them take ownership of their health benefit programs, thus, helping them control their premiums and health care costs. Self-Funded Multiple Employer Trusts are 501 (c) 9 designated not-for-profit plans approved and regulated by the IRS, the U.S. Department of Labor, and the Director of Insurance in South Dakota. Since they are not-for-profit trusts, there are significant tax and fee savings that regular health benefit plans or providers do not offer.
 

CUAD is strongly supporting proposed revisions to HB 1287. The revisions deal with amending the current South Dakota Self-Funded Multiple Employer Trust statutes that will make it possible for associations operating (like the Credit Union Association of the Dakotas) in South Dakota, to establish and offer association (similar or single industry) health insurance self-funded health benefit plans to their affiliated member organizations and employees.

The urgency to bring this forward now is that many small businesses in South Dakota have seen double-digit increases in health care benefits in consecutive years. Self-Funded Multiple Employer Trusts are a solution to that problem. We are asking for your help now.
 

First, please contact your state representatives today and ask for their support on H.B. 1287. We are asking folks to send a brief personal email (four to five sentences) to their legislator asking for support of HB 1287. Click here for talking points to be used as a resource when composing your emails. To locate your legislators, visit sdlegislature.gov.

Second, we request information from you that we can relay to legislators. Please email the following information TODAY at jkruse@cuad.coop. Thank you in advance!

  • The name of your credit union, and the number of employees you currently have on your healthcare plan.
  • If you have experienced premium increases, please provide the last four years in percentage form. Example: 2012 – 2013 13% increase, 2013 – 2014 18% increase, and so on.
  • Who is your current healthcare benefits provider? (Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Dakota Care, etc.)
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