The Affordable Care Act, Public Law 111-148, allows certain Indian tribes, tribal organizations, and urban Indian organizations to purchase health insurance through the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program for their employees. The Office of Personnel Management administers the program, but the tribes or tribal organizations purchase the insurance for their employees and must pay at least 70 percent of the premium. The employees pay the rest.
H.R. 895 would allow tribal grant schools (as defined by the Tribally Controlled Schools Act of 1988) to participate in that arrangement. Because premiums for FEHB health insurance would be paid for by the schools and their employees, enacting the bill would not affect federal spending or revenues.
On May 28, 2019, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for S. 279, the Tribal School Federal Insurance Parity Act, as ordered reported by the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs on May 15, 2019. The two pieces of legislation are identical, and CBO’s estimate of their budgetary effects is the same.