Sam Fleet: Self funding is doing fine

By National Underwriter

National Underwriter


By Allison Bell

State and federal regulators have been talking for months about putting the brakes on the market for small self-insured health plans and the stop-loss insurers that protect those plans against catastrophic losses.

So far, though, the small-group self-insured plan market and the overall health stop-loss market seem to be doing well, according to Sam Fleet, president of the AmWINS Group Benefits Division, Warwick, R.I.

Fleet, who has become a highly visible promoter of the stop-loss industry, talked about the state of the industry today during a brief telephone interview.

"We're quoting double the amount of small-group stop-loss this year than we were a year ago," Fleet said.

Stop-loss rates seem to be increasing, and carriers have been less aggressive about competing for cases, Fleet said.

Regulators may be talking about changing the rules governing the stop-loss market, but the rules could take a while to change, if they do change, Fleet said.

An employer can "self insure" a health plan by simply setting aside cash to pay claims rather than relying on an outside company to pay the claims. The sponsors of the self-insured plans often use stop-loss arrangements to protect themselves against the risk that one patient will end up with huge bills or the plan as a whole will run up much higher-than-expected bills.

Originally published on LifeHealthPro.com