130th Ohio General Assembly
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(123rd General Assembly)
(Substitute House Bill Number 16)



AN ACT
To create a task force to study consumer access to preferred provider plans, point of service plans, and other open panel plans for health care coverage, and to declare an emergency.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio:

SECTION 1 .  (A) There is hereby created a task force consisting of the following members to study consumer access to preferred provider plans, point of service plans, and other open panel plans for health care coverage:

(1) Three members of the House of Representatives, including the chairperson of the House Health, Retirement, and Aging Committee, one other member of the majority political party, and one member of the minority political party;

(2) Three members of the Senate, including the chairperson of the Senate Health, Human Services, and Aging Committee, one other member from the majority political party, and one member from the minority political party;

(3) The Superintendent of Insurance or the Superintendent's designee;

(4) Two representatives of health care providers who provide health care services in this state;

(5) One representative of a health insuring corporation that is authorized under Chapter 1751. of the Revised Code to operate in this state and is offering a point of service plan;

(6) One representative of a health insuring corporation that is authorized under Chapter 1751. of the Revised Code to operate in this state, other than a health insuring corporation described in division (A)(5) of this section;

(7) One representative of an employer in Ohio that employs fewer than twenty-five individuals, other than an employer described in division (A)(4), (5), or (6) of this section;

(8) One representative of an employer in Ohio that employs twenty-five or more individuals, other than an employer described in division (A)(4), (5), or (6) of this section;

(9) Two representatives of consumers in this state.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives shall appoint the members listed in divisions (A)(1) and (6) of this section and one of the members listed in division (A)(4) of this section. The President of the Senate shall appoint the members listed in divisions (A)(2) and (5) of this section and one of the members listed in division (A)(4) of this section. With regard to the members of the minority political parties described in divisions (A)(1) and (2) of this section, the Speaker and the President shall make those appointments in consultation with their respective minority leaders. The Governor shall appoint the members listed in divisions (A)(7), (8), and (9) of this section.

Appointments to the task force shall be made no later than thirty days after the effective date of this section. The Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate shall each designate a member of the majority party of the House of Representatives and Senate appointed under division (A)(1) or (2) of this section to serve as co-chairpersons. The task force shall meet at the call of either of the co-chairpersons. Members of the task force shall serve without compensation but may be reimbursed for their actual and necessary expenses in performing the official duties of the task force.

(B) At the direction of the Legislative Service Commission, the Director of the Legislative Service Commission shall provide staff support to the task force within the Commission's current budget appropriation. With the approval of the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate, the task force may request that the Controlling Board appropriate funds for services not provided by the Commission.

(C) The task force shall study the issue of whether access to preferred provider plans, point of service plans, and other open panel plans for health care coverage is available and at what cost, whether there are any obstacles to access, and whether those types of health care plans enhance or impede consumer access to quality and affordable health care. Not later than December 31, 1999, the task force shall prepare and submit a report of its findings to the Governor, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President of the Senate, and the chairs of the standing committees of the House of Representatives and Senate with primary responsibility for insurance legislation. On submission of the report, the task force shall cease to exist.

SECTION 2 .  This act is hereby declared to be an emergency measure necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety. The reason for such necessity is that the results of the study required by this act will be used in making future health care coverage decisions that affect a significant number of Ohioans, and prompt commencement of the study will ensure that the results are as complete and accurate as possible. Therefore, this act shall go into immediate effect.

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