Legislative Update
by Jay Kruse
Chief Advocacy Officer
2/13/2018

Greetings!

It is a busy time for credit union advocates in the Dakotas. The 2018 CUNA GAC is only a few weeks away, and the South Dakota legislative session is in full swing. I am headed to Pierre later this afternoon, along with other credit union advocates to rally support for House Bill 1287.  HB 1287, which revises a few provisions regarding multiple employer trusts in South Dakota, would provide an opportunity for SD credit union employees to join the CUAD Health Benefits Trust, a Self-Funded Multiple Employer Trust Health Plan.

Currently, there are several impediments in South Dakota statute that make it relatively difficult for any association to sponsor a Self-Funded Multiple Employer Trust. Changes proposed under HB 1287 strive to make it easier for small employers in South Dakota to join a Self-Funded Multiple Employer Trust to offer affordable health insurance to their employees. It is important to stress that HB 1287 does not remove consumer protections. Also, very important to note, this bill gives the South Dakota Director of the Division of Insurance discretion in authorizing the Self-Funded Multiple Employer Trusts.

Why is this important to you? With many employers across the Dakotas seeing double-digit increases in health insurance costs, now is the time to take back some control. By joining together, employers may reduce administrative costs through economies of scale, strengthen their bargaining position to obtain more favorable deals, enhance their ability to self-insure, and offer a broader array of insurance options.

We need your help!

HB 1287 will receive its first hearing in the House Commerce and Energy Committee this week on Wednesday, February 14 at 10 a.m. CT in Pierre.

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.

2018 CUNA Government Affairs Conference is just around the corner.

Attendees will make the trip to Washington D.C. in the coming weeks for the premier conference in the credit union industry, the 2018 CUNA GAC. This year will again be a big year for the GAC with more than 5000 attendees registered and over 600 congressional and regulatory meetings scheduled. Attendees from the Dakotas will have the opportunity to meet face-to-face with their respective congressional delegations to discuss important issues that are affecting credit unions in the Dakotas.

All meetings have been confirmed and will take place on Wednesday, February 28th. We are currently pulling together our packet for our attendees which will include a roster of Dakota attendees, our detailed Hike-the-Hill schedule, issues briefing documents, as well as a few maps of the area to help make your trip to D.C. more effective and efficient. Please plan to join our pre-GAC conference call; details will be sent to attendees this week.

If you have questions, concerns, or feedback regarding these or any other advocacy issues, please do not hesitate to contact me. Have a great week!

 

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