Self-insured companies pay for employee health insurance claims directly, either out of pocket or through special funds earmarked for this purpose. This means that the company assumes a financial risk for each employee and does not have a traditional “fully-insured” plan through a commercial insurance company. Some self-insured plans are subject to the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) standards while some are not. More information can be found at the Self-Insurance Institute of America (

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