1731.02 Encouraging alliances of small employers to obtain health benefit plans.

(A) It is determined and declared that the provision of health care to employees and retirees in this state and to their dependents and families is of paramount public importance to the economic and general welfare of the people of the state, that rising costs of health care have made it difficult for small employers to provide for health care benefits, that the creation of alliances of small employers to bargain with insurers better assures the obtaining of adequate coverage and benefits under health benefit plans at affordable costs and that the larger the number of employees and other covered persons under such alliance, the more certain is the achievement of those objectives, and that it is the public policy and a public purpose of the state to encourage alliances of small employers to obtain health benefit plans, and to permit flexibility in the coverage and benefits thereunder and encourage substantial size in such alliances, in order to enhance strength in bargaining and economies of scale and thereby achieve broader coverage and benefit options at reduced costs.

(B) The provisions and authority under and benefits provided by this chapter shall be liberally construed and applied toward the achievement of the public objectives set forth in division (A) of this section.

(C) The provisions and authority provided by this chapter are in addition to and not in derogation of other authority under law and do not reflect adversely on any existing or future health benefit organization, program, or arrangement for the benefit of more than one employer that is established under other authority. Any such organization, program, or arrangement that fits the definitions of "small employer health care alliance" and "alliance program," respectively, in section 1731.01 of the Revised Code and otherwise conforms to the applicable conditions and provisions of this chapter is entitled to all applicable benefits under this chapter.

Effective Date: 01-14-1993 .