A Palmetto State lawmaker is talking about creating a new class of "prepaid medical services providers" that would be exempt from state insurance laws and regulations.
South Carolina state Sen. Lee Bright, R-Spartanburg, S.C., has presented the idea in S. 105.
Under S. 105, doctors and individuals admitted to practice an "appropriate allied health profession" could sell prepaid medical services contracts directly to individuals, and through employers and non-employer organizations.
The prepaid medical services providers would be regulated by the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs, not by the South Carolina Department of Insurance.
Although a provider could sell contracts through employers and non-employer organizations, the actual contracts would have to be between the providers and the individuals who would be getting the medical services, according to the bill text.
A prepaid medical services contract could only obligate the provider to provide the services specified in the contract to the individual paying for the contract, according to the bill text.
A provider's failure to live up to the terms of a contract would be a violation of the state's Consumer Protection Code.
S. 105 is similar to S. 1028, a bill that died in the state Senate Banking and Insurance Committee during the previous legislative session.