Health benefit plans for ag nonprofits broadened, advanced

A bill intended to provide affordable health benefits to Nebraska farmers and ranchers advanced to the final round of debate March 18 after lawmakers amended it to ensure more organizations could offer benefits.

Sen. Robert Dover
Sen. Robert Dover

Under LB1313, sponsored by Norfolk Sen. Robert Dover, health benefit plans that are sponsored by certain nonprofit agricultural organizations and provide benefits under a self-funded arrangement administered by a licensed third-party administrator would not be subject to insurance regulation.

An organization that sponsors a plan must have been created primarily to promote programs for the development of rural communities and the economic stability of Nebraska farmers.

Among several other requirements, an organization also would have to be in existence for at least 50 continuous years prior to the issuance of health benefits to its members.

Dover filed an amendment on select file to strike that provision, which he said could violate the state constitution by allowing only certain organizations to offer health benefit plans.

After voting 39-0 to adopt Dover’s amendment, senators advanced LB1313 to final reading by voice vote.

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