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Regulators eye insurance maneuver to cut healthcare costs

Bloomberg BusinessWeek, May 4, 2012

Federal regulators are now scrutinizing whether small companies with relatively healthy employees will pull out of the group health insurance market by self-insuring—meaning the companies take on the risk of paying for employees' medical care. That could make premiums for traditional health insurance plans, where an insurance company bears the risk, unaffordable for the businesses that remain. Stop-loss policies are insurance agreements that employers can buy to limit the amount of risk they take on when self-insuring. In a Federal Register notice posted on May 1, three agencies are requesting information about stop-loss insurance.