TAHU's Political Action Committee

Legislative History

The Texas Association of Health Underwriters has been an active participant in legislative discussions as far back as small group health insurance reform more than a decade ago. TAHU’s advocacy for a stable, healthy, private insurance marketplace has resonated well with many members of the Texas Legislature who appreciate TAHU’s ability and willingness to provide real-world, everyday expertise about what works and what doesn’t, how to reduce the number of uninsured Texans, and how to stabilize and possibly even reduce rates.

In the 82nd Regular Session (2011) of the Texas Legislature:

TAHU worked to make sure that any legislation creating a State Health Benefits Exchange would include the following provisions:

  • Agents and brokers would be represented on the governing board;
  • Agents and brokers would be permitted to market any Exchange plan;
  • Access and information for the consumer would be enhanced by making certain that only appropriately-qualified and certified persons such as agents are permitted to sell Exchange plans;
  • A requirement that equal rating methodologies would be used for plans sold inside the Exchange compared to those sold outside the exchange on the commerical market.


In the 81st Regular Session (2009) of the Texas Legislature:

TAHU worked for and supported

  • TAHU recognized that in Texas there were simply too many “working uninsured” people and authored SB 80 to reduce or eliminate the costs for employees to add spouses and children to their employer-sponsored health plan.
  • SB 79 increased the level of expertise and training agents could take to be considered “experts” in the group health insurance arena for employers who buy their plans in the small group market. The agent designation program under SB 79 was characterized as the “Good Housekeeping seal of approval” for agents who will bring greater knowledge and professionalism to employers across Texas.
  • Legislation giving lower income Texans discounted rates from the Texas Health Insurance Pool

TAHU Opposed

  • More than three dozen new health insurance benefit mandate bills
  • Several bills which would implement some form of “universal” health care in Texas


In the 80th Regular Session (2007) of the Texas Legislature:

TAHU Supported

  • “Transparency” legislation, requiring the disclosure of medical care costs in advance
  • Long Term Care Partnerships which can protect a person’s assets from being “spent down” to qualify for Medicaid nursing home assistance
  • Several measures to strengthen the Texas Health Individual Risk Pool
  • Regulation of non-insurance “discount” programs that mislead and confuse consumers

TAHU Opposed

  • More than three dozen new health insurance benefit mandate bills
  • Several bills which would implement some form of “universal” health care in Texas


In the 2006 Special Session, TAHU:

  • Won passage of an amendment that guarantees employers will receive a deduction from the new Business Margins Tax for contributions they make to employees’ health savings accounts.


In previous sessions of the Legislature, TAHU:

  • Won passage of HB 1602 to make sure Texas HSA plans conform with federal requirements
  • Helped defeat the bill requiring out-of-network providers be paid full billed charges if services provided in network facility
  • Won enactment of SB 261 to set up consumer education and awareness program at TDI, in order for consumers to have easier access to better information about what is available in the marketplace


TAHU was very active in the 2003 and 2001 legislative sessions, successfully getting these proposals passed into law:

  • HB 471 requiring carriers to pay the same commission rate for “baby” groups as they do for larger groups
  • HB 941 putting into the law books a maximum rate-up of 20% due to group size only
  • SB 541 authorizing reduced mandate plans
  • SB 1117 – keeping the sale of optional benefit products to public school districts in the private sector (from local agents and commercial carriers)