By Danburg                                      H.B. No. 3144

      75R997 MWV-D                           

                                A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

 1-1                                   AN ACT

 1-2     relating to the applicability of the Small Employer Health

 1-3     Insurance Availability Act.


 1-5           SECTION 1.  Article 26.02(21), Insurance Code, is amended to

 1-6     read as follows:

 1-7                 (21)  "Small employer" means a person that is actively

 1-8     engaged in business and that, on at least 50 percent of its working

 1-9     days during the preceding calendar year, employed [at least three

1-10     but] not more than 50 eligible employees, including the employees

1-11     of an affiliated employer, the majority of whom were employed in

1-12     this state.

1-13           SECTION 2.  Article 26.06(a), Insurance Code, is amended to

1-14     read as follows:

1-15           (a)  An individual or group health benefit plan is subject to

1-16     this chapter if it provides health care benefits covering an [three

1-17     or more] eligible employee [employees] of a small employer and if

1-18     it meets any one of the following conditions:

1-19                 (1)  a portion of the premium or benefits is paid by a

1-20     small employer; or

1-21                 (2)  the health benefit plan is treated by the employer

1-22     or by a covered individual as part of a plan or program for the

1-23     purposes of Section 106 or 162, Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26

1-24     U.S.C. Section 106 or 162).

 2-1           SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect September 1, 1997, and

 2-2     applies to a health benefit plan that is delivered, issued for

 2-3     delivery, or renewed on or after January 1, 1998. A plan that is

 2-4     delivered, issued for delivery, or renewed before January 1, 1998,

 2-5     is governed by the law as it existed immediately before the

 2-6     effective date of this Act, and that law is continued in effect for

 2-7     that purpose.

 2-8           SECTION 4.  The importance of this legislation and the

 2-9     crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an

2-10     emergency and an imperative public necessity that the

2-11     constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several

2-12     days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended.