As we approach the January 1 requirement for health insurance plans to comply with the new Affordable Care Act guidelines we are looking very closely at options available to our clients. New plan designs are not clear yet, networks are difficult to access and drug formularies are hard to find. As a result we have encouraged all of our clients who are offered early renewal to seriously consider taking advantage of the option. Where the premium increase is minimal the recommendation is very easy, but even where premium increases are greater there are factors that should be considered.
Starting in 2014 many networks will be “skinny” which means that there will be fewer providers than have been available in the past. Plan design changes and increased limitations on the drugs that will be covered are not fully disclosed yet. Since a lot is not terribly clear, having the option to stay with a plan and a set of providers with whom you are familiar would be a good idea at this time. If we determine that a 2014 ACA compliant plan would be a better option once more details are available we will help our clients make the change and cancel the early renewal election. Beware the deadlines for electing early renewal for your plan. Below are the cut off dates for the carriers we represent :
Aetna : individual November 25, group October 15
BlueCross : individual November 15, group November 1
Cigna : individual December 15
Coventry : individual December 1, group October 1
Humana : individual December 31, group November 15
Please contact us immediately if you have inadvertently missed a deadline.
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