BREAKING: Bill to Allow More Affordable Health Insurance Option Clears Key Senate Committees

April 29, 2021

Two Senate committees passed Senate Bill 228 this week which would provide people with an additional, lower cost option which purchasing health insurance.  

North Carolina’s laws and regulations currently prevent premium-paying small businesses and individuals from buying what’s called and Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO) insurance plan.

Under current law, only large corporations who pay their own medical claims are allowed to buy EPOs.

Senate Bill 228 would fix that.

EPO plans, by some estimates, could save small businesses, workers and their families, close to 20 percent on their premiums while also improving the quality of care-coordination.

EPO plans limit in-network coverage to an exclusive provider. Since a provider knows that will get nearly 100 percent of the plans business, they offer lower rates, which in turn means lower premiums.

The plans are subject to the same consumer protections, pre-existing condition coverage requirements, and network adequacy standards as other ACA health insurance plans.

39 other states allow businesses, workers and their families to buy EPO plans. SB228 would make North Carolina the 40th.

The Coalition SUPPORTS Senate Bill 228 and will grade lawmakers on how they voted in Committee today. 

The bill is also supported by the North Carolina NFIB, the North Carolina Chamber, the North Carolina Department of Insurance and the North Carolina Association of Health Underwriters.

Atrium Health and Wake Forest Baptist already participate in an EPO plan for large business who pay their own medical expenses.

The Coalition will continue to track its progress and advocate for its passage.


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