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Self Insured MERP - EE Contributions


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Can an employer REQUIRE employees, thru payroll deduction, to contribute toward the cost of a self-insured MERP?  

I have an employer purchasing a high deductible plan from a carrier with a $2500 deductible.  They are having a TPA make that plan perform like a $500 deductible to each EE.  The 85% of the premium from the carrier is being paid by the employer and 15% is paid by the EE.  The employer wants to use a "Premium Equivalent" for the cost of the MERP, and have the EEs pay 15% of that as well.  

Does this sound compliant?  I've had 3 large TPAs tell me it is not.  Those TPAs don't support self-insured MERP plans either.  Would anyone be able to recommend a TPA in Illinois that support's self-insured MERPs?

thanks.

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