Important Notice for Pre-ACA Small Group Plans
Grandfathered (Pre-ACA) group health plans in Nebraska are being terminated at the end of 2019. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska is the only insurance company left in Nebraska to carry grandfathered plans. They have now decided to discontinue them. If you are one of the 704 companies with a Blue Cross grandfathered plan, you must find a new plan at renewal.
The promise of keeping your current health plan and current doctor was uttered many times leading up to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) prior to January 2014. At the time, those statements were largely true. Employers on existing health plans were given the option of staying on their grandfathered plan or moving to a plan compliant with the ACA. Since 2014, the federal government has allowed grandfathered plans to continue. As time progressed, insurance companies made a corporate decision to discontinue their grandfathered plans.
Below is an excerpt from the notice Blue Cross sent affected customers:
Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), insurance companies have been allowed to maintain pre-ACA plans under certain circumstances. However, under federal law, these pre-ACA plans must now be discontinued by the end of 2019. This mandate affects groups renewing in 2019 and on Jan. 1, 2020. We have other plan options for these groups and will provide more information in the coming months.
There are options if your company is one that has to change plans. Blue Cross, United HealthCare and Aetna offer fully insured plans. Premiums for fully insured plans are pre-determined by the carrier and are based upon the location of your company, plan selection and age of the covered individuals.
Level-funded plans, also known as partially self-funded, are another option to consider. Level-funded plans are similar to grandfathered plans in that premiums are directly related to the medical risk of the group. Healthy groups will pay lower premiums than groups with multiple medical conditions. Level-funded plans also present an opportunity for implementing wellness initiatives within the company to improve or maintain health.
Being forced off of your health plan is never a welcome change but it is important to remember that you will have options to consider. There’s no need to panic. Renewals will be released at least 60 days prior and possibly even sooner. This gives you plenty of time to make an educated decision, rather than hastily moving to a plan. This may also be a great time to look at other enhancements to your employee benefits package, these should be discussed with your agent.
If you have any questions, please give us a call at ComPro and we’ll be glad to talk about the changes.