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No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
Based on information provided by the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI), the bill could result in a one-time revenue gain of approximately $39,600 to be deposited to the General Revenue-Dedicated Texas Department of Insurance Fund 36 (Fund 36). Since Fund 36 is a self-leveling account, this analysis also assumes that any additional revenue resulting from the implementation of the bill would accumulate in account fund balances and that TDI would adjust the assessment of the maintenance tax or other fees accordingly in the following year.
Based on information provided by TDI, University of Texas System Administration, and Texas A&M University System Administration, it is assumed that all duties and responsibilities necessary to implement the provisions of the bill could be accomplished within existing staff and resources.
No fiscal implication to units of local government is anticipated.
The legislation would add Chapter 1380 of the Insurance Code by prohibiting a health benefit plan from excluding coverage for any emergency or other medical, hospital, or surgical expenses incurred by a covered individual as a result of and related to an injury that is self-inflicted or caused in an attempt to commit suicide, regardless of:
The bill would authorize coverage for such injuries to be subject to deductibles, copayments, coinsurance, or annual or maximum payment limits that are consistent with deductibles, copayments, coinsurance, or annual or maximum payment limits applicable to other similar coverage under the health benefit plan.
The chapter would apply to a small employer health benefit plan and consumer choice of benefits plan under Chapter 1501 and 1507, respectively. The bill would exempt specific qualified health plans (QHP).
While we sympathize with persons who sustain self-inflicted injuries and/or injuries caused by attempted suicide, we oppose all new mandates on health insurance carriers.
Our issue with the HB 2219 is that it would mandate a group health benefit plan to provide coverage for the aforementioned injuries. This legislation represents yet another example of the government interfering with private businesses. The high cost of health care and health insurance is partly the result of government interference in the form of mandates. Every time the government tinkers with the system to take choices away from providers and patients, costs tend to rise.
Creating new state mandates on private enterprise abridges our limited government and free market principles. Therefore, we oppose HB 2219.
It is worth noting that Texas has one of the highest number of insurance mandates in the U.S.