Singer Holding Off On Previously Announced Amendment of Bill to Regulate MEWAs

From NJ Biz, August 18, 2014:

Sen. Robert W. Singer (R-Lakewood) announced Monday he’s holding off on his planned afternoon introduction of an amended version of his bill, S2220, which aims to encourage more employers to join together to create more affordable, self-insured health plans.

Sen. Joseph F. Vitale (D-Woodbridge), chair of the Senate Health Committee, is opposed to the Singer bill, which on Monday also drew opposition from a coalition of consumer and health advocates.

A spokesperson for Singer said the amendments were held because “I believe they are still trying to iron out some of the issues. Hopefully the amendments will be ready to go next time we are in Trenton. We do not have the fall schedule as of yet.”

However, there is support for Singer’s efforts to make multiple employer welfare associations, or MEWAs, more accessible to employers.

Ray Castro, senior policy analyst for New Jersey Policy Perspective, is among the critics of Singer’s bill, which he said “would reduce the number of state-mandated health benefits a large employer must provide in other to reduce the employer’s cost, but, unfortunately, that simply shifts them to the employee.”

“If anything, you would think a large employer would have to provide better coverage given their larger economy of scale,” he said. “New Jersey should be moving in a direction that promotes greater consistency and quality in health coverage, not less.