Give us chance to get affordable health insurance

Dated: May 1 2020

Views: 72

Dear Governor Northam,

As a member of the nearly 35,000 Virginia REALTORS®, I respectfully ask you to allow House Bill 795 and Senate Bill 235 to become law this year.

An overwhelming, bipartisan majority of the General Assembly has agreed to this policy proposal for two years in a row.

Almost 7,000 of my colleagues in Virginia are uninsured, due largely to the high costs associated with coverage through the marketplace. These are individuals and families who are currently caught in the “Gap” of coverage. They do not make enough income to pay for insurance and make just enough income not to qualify for the subsidies offered in the exchange.

Now, more than ever, independent contractors who are financially forced to go without health insurance need a viable option to provide coverage for ourselves and our families.

Telling hard-working Virginians that they must wait another year, especially in the midst of a pandemic, for coverage is simply unacceptable.

Virginia REALTORS® have worked diligently over the past year to address concerns about the legislation and have proposed plans that are Affordable Care Act-compliant to provide quality options to those who are without coverage.

These bills require our Association Health Plan (AHP) to provide the same level of coverage as required under the Affordable Care Act (ACA):

• Allowing small employers and self-employed individuals to participate in the same type of health plan that large employers offer to their employees.

• REQUIRING our plans operating in the Commonwealth to cover the ACA’s “essential health benefits” by imposing the requirement under Virginia Code § 38.2-3451, which requires coverage of care that Virginia’s “essential health benefits”-benchmark plan currently covers.

These bills protect Virginians with pre-existing conditions:

• Imposing the requirement under Virginia Code § 38.2-3444, which requires all health insurance policies offered in the Commonwealth to protect people with pre-existing conditions.

NOT Allowing our plans to charge different premium rates to different participants in the plan based on health conditions:

• Requiring our plans to offer health coverage to every member of the association sponsoring the plan. This means that no member of the association can be denied coverage through our plans.

• Requiring that all the individuals and/or employees covered under our plans must be treated as one, single risk pool. This means that our plans WILL NOT BE permitted to treat the individuals or the employees differently from one another.

• Requiring premium rates to be developed based on the collective “health claims experience” of all of the individuals and employees who are participants in this single risk pool. This means that our plans WILL NOT BE permitted to develop different premium rates for different individuals or different employer members based on the health condition of a particular individual or employee.

We believe these bills contain comprehensive protections for our members or any other Virginian that may be eligible through a qualifying association. With the specific requirements and specific prohibitions that we have built into these measures, we believe this approach is a responsible move forward and one that we hope will provide an affordable option to those in need.

Please do the right thing and allow House Bill 795 and Senate Bill 235 to become law this year.


Louis Taylor

Real Estate Professional & Relocation Specialist

eXp Realty


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Louis Taylor

A seasoned agent that is known for his passion, diligence and unwavering commitment to his clients, Louis Taylor has helped thousands of individuals buy and sell homes across the country for more than....

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