Group health benefit plans; bona fide associations, benefits consortium. (SB1689)

Introduced By

Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant (R-Henrico) with support from co-patron Sen. Bill DeSteph (R-Virginia Beach)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Group health benefit plans; bona fide associations; benefits consortium. Provides that certain trusts constitute a benefits consortium and are authorized to sell health benefits plans to members of a sponsoring association that is a nonstock corporation, has five or more members participating in one or more benefits plans, has been formed for purposes other than obtaining or providing health benefits, and operates as a nonprofit entity under § 501(c)(6) of the federal Internal Revenue Code. The bill provides that a person may be a member of sponsoring association without having any employees if the person is a sole proprietorship, a corporation with a single shareholder, or a limited liability company with a single member. The bill provides that the trust is subject to the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 and U.S. Department of Labor regulations applicable to multiple employer welfare arrangements and to the authority of the U.S. Department of Labor to enforce such law and regulations. The bill (i) prohibits a self-funded multiple employer welfare arrangement (MEWA) from issuing health benefit plans in the Commonwealth until it has obtained a license from the State Corporation Commission; (ii) provides that health benefit plans issued by a self-funded MEWA shall be subject to taxes and maintenance assessments levied upon insurance companies; (iii) provides that health benefit plans issued by a self-funded MEWA are subject to protections of and other provisions of the Virginia Life, Accident and Sickness Insurance Guaranty Association; (iv) makes domestic self-funded MEWAs subject to all financial and solvency requirements imposed by provisions of Title 38.2 on domestic insurers unless domestic self-funded MEWAs are otherwise specifically exempted; and (v) provides that health benefit plans issued by a self-funded MEWA shall be exempt from all statutory requirements relating to insurance premium rates, policy forms, and policy cancellation and nonrenewal. The bill provides that the sponsoring association shall not, by virtue of its sponsorship of the benefits consortium or any benefits plan, be subject to the insurance laws of the Commonwealth or the tax levied on insurance companies pursuant to § 58.1-2501. The measure removes the requirements that an association to which a group accident and sickness insurance policy is issued has at the outset a minimum of 100 persons, has been organized and maintained in good faith for purposes other than that of obtaining insurance, and has been in active existence for at least five years. The measure also replaces references to "bona fide association," as used in provisions applicable to health care plans in the small employer market, with the term "sponsoring association." Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/14/2019Presented and ordered printed 19103876D
01/14/2019Referred to Committee on Commerce and Labor
01/29/2019Impact statement from SCC (SB1689)
01/31/2019Reported from Commerce and Labor with substitute (11-Y 4-N) (see vote tally)
01/31/2019Committee substitute printed 19106257D-S1
01/31/2019Incorporates SB1351 (Wagner)
01/31/2019Incorporates SB1353 (Wagner)
01/31/2019Incorporates SB1712 (Vogel)
01/31/2019Rereferred to Finance
01/31/2019Reported from Finance (12-Y 4-N) (see vote tally)
02/04/2019Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/05/2019Read second time
02/05/2019Reading of substitute waived
02/05/2019Committee substitute agreed to 19106257D-S1
02/05/2019Engrossed by Senate - committee substitute SB1689S1
02/05/2019Constitutional reading dispensed (39-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/05/2019Passed Senate (28-Y 12-N) (see vote tally)
02/08/2019Placed on Calendar
02/08/2019Read first time
02/08/2019Referred to Committee on Commerce and Labor
02/11/2019Impact statement from SCC (SB1689S1)
02/14/2019House committee, floor amendments and substitutes offered
02/14/2019Reported from Commerce and Labor with amendments (16-Y 3-N) (see vote tally)
02/18/2019Read second time
02/19/2019Read third time
02/19/2019Committee amendments agreed to
02/19/2019Engrossed by House as amended
02/19/2019Passed House with amendments (61-Y 38-N)
02/19/2019VOTE: PASSAGE (61-Y 38-N) (see vote tally)
02/20/2019House amendments agreed to by Senate (33-Y 7-N) (see vote tally)
02/20/2019Reconsideration of House amendments agreed to by Senate (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/20/2019House amendments agreed to by Senate (28-Y 12-N) (see vote tally)
02/23/2019Bill text as passed Senate and House (SB1689ER)
02/23/2019Signed by President
02/23/2019Signed by Speaker
02/26/2019Impact statement from SCC (SB1689ER)
03/04/2019Enrolled Bill Communicated to Governor on March 4, 2019
03/04/2019G Governor's Action Deadline Midnight, March 26, 2019
03/26/2019Governor's recommendation received by Senate
03/26/2019Governor's substitute printed 19107825D-S2
04/03/2019Senate rejected Governor's recommendation (6-Y 32-N) (see vote tally)
04/03/2019Communicated to Governor
04/03/2019G Governor's Action Deadline Midnight, May 3, 2019
05/02/2019G Vetoed by Governor