The Affordable Care Act implementation will continue January 1, 2014 when a number of major changes will impact everyone’s health insurance. Rates will no longer include considerations of industry, medical history or gender and will be limited to a 1 to 3 ratio from the youngest adult to the oldest adult. Some individuals and groups will benefit from these changes, others will not. Additionally, taxes and fees will be included in the January 1, 2014 implementation which will also affect the cost of coverage.
You will likely be contacted by your insurance carrier to consider renewing your health insurance plan at the end of 2013 irrespective of when your most recent plan renewal occurred. The immediate benefit to early renewal is that your plan will not need to adjust to the design changes required to qualify under the Affordable Care Act until the December 1, 2014 renewal. Additionally, your rate will be set until December 1, 2014 which will give you time to prepare for the possible increased cost of plan design changes that will be imposed on you under the new legislation.
For those whose current plans have limitations or rates that are higher as a result of medical history, age and gender, the plans available after January 1, 2014 might be more advantageous. We hope to have information available to us soon to see which groups will stand to gain or lose with the pending changes. We are also reviewing partial self funding options for clients where those plans may be appropriate. Finally, we are discussing with our clients the consequences of dropping group insurance and replacing it with the new guaranteed issue individual products where that may be a consideration.
I look forward to planning a strategy with you in preparation of the Affordable Care Act changes.