Letter to Senator Olympia Snowe regarding Association Health Plans
September 11, 2003
The Honorable Olympia J. Snowe
Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship
United States Senate
Washington, D. C. 20510
Dear Chairwoman Snowe:
On behalf of the Credit Union National Association's (CUNA) 84 million members, I am writing to thank you for introducing S. 545, the "Small Business Health Fairness Act of 2003." We greatly appreciate your strong advocacy of policy changes that would reduce the cost of healthcare for America's small businesses. We are very supportive of your legislation because it would enhance the ability of AHPs to be offered nationwide to the benefit of consumers.
Experts estimate that roughly 40 million Americans are currently uninsured with premium levels serving as a key impediment to more widespread coverage. Consistent with national trends, credit unions are also seeing their health care costs become a large and quickly increasing share of benefit costs. And for many small credit unions, health care is simply too expensive. According to CUNA's 2001 Credit Union Staff Benefits Survey, only 39% of small credit unions (i.e., those with less than $20 million in total assets) offer healthcare coverage to their CEOs.
CUNA is also interested in the possibility of how expanded AHPs would enable credit unions to offer reduced-rate policies to small businesses within their field of membership. We believe such legislation would be of great benefit to America's consumers by reducing their healthcare costs.
Thank you again for your leadership on this very important issue. If we can be of any further assistance, please call me or Gary Kohn of my staff at (202) 508-6721.
Daniel A. Mica
President & CEO