Employers have several options to provide major medical insurance coverage for their employees in the new health care reform environment. Deciding which option meets both business and workforce needs is important to navigating the new health care landscape, as well as gaining a competitive edge in the battle for top talent.
An employer-sponsored health plan can be grandfathered if it covered employees when the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was enacted on March 23, 2010, and if the plan does not make certain changes that lower benefits or employer contributions, or does not increase employee-paid deductible, coinsurance or copayment costs. While grandfathered plans may have lower rates (at least in the initial years), they will not include some of the new ACA benefit reforms.
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To learn more about available options visit: aflac.com/business/policies.
While grandfathered plans may have lower premiums than some non-grandfathered plans, other factors such as medical trends, and benefits design (e.g. variations in deductibles) may have an impact on renewal rates. Many employers make changes to their benefits design and contribution levels annually to keep costs under control, so the number of employers with grandfathered plans and employees in grandfathered plans has steadily decreased each year. Despite the decline, maintaining grandfathered status can be a viable option for businesses meeting the grandfathered status requirements.
You can find more information about multiple benefits delivery options, including: insurer based, self-funded coverage, maintaining grandfathered status, Small Business Health Option Program (SHOP) Marketplace or a private marketplace at aflac.com/healthcare_reform. A comprehensive summary is available in The Employer’s Guide to Health Care Reform.
As you continue to navigate health care reform, you can rely on Aflac to provide updates and helpful information at: aflac.com/insights. To learn more about coverage available in your state, visit: healthcare.gov, cciio.cms.gov and irs.gov.
Private exchanges are changing how insurance is bought, sold and considered, which may mean important shifts for employers and the benefits they provide their workforce. These changes, along with the many shifts resulting from health care reform, are already taking effect. As employers consider private exchange options, it’s important to remember that employees continue to look to their employer to understand changes to their benefits. Employers should consider how a private exchange can help maximize their benefit delivery, as well as the resources and support the exchange offers to help equip and inform employees to make more informed benefits decisions.