Health Care Reform Information

How does the Affordable Care Act effect you as an employer?

1. If you, the employer, have received a cancellation letter from your carrier, what does that notice mean? It means that either January 1st or whenever your policy renews in 2014, your current non-grandfathered policy will cease to exist and your agent will need to present you, the employer, with new plans that are mandated minimum coverage standards through the ACA. In short, your old plan will be replaced with one of the new plans that have been approved and mandated by the government for each insurance company to offer employers at their renewal in 2014.

2. You also received a letter recently advising that your new hire employer waiting period can’t exceed 90 days. Since most employers operate under a 1st of the month following 90 days currently, you will need to choose another waiting period. We are suggesting to most employer groups to select a 1st of the month following 60 days. But employer groups may also choose a waiting period that is 1st of the month after date of hire, or 1st of the month after 30 days.

3. If employees in your company have questions about the marketplace and subsidies, please call our office to schedule a time for a certified marketplace representative to come out and meet with any of your employees that have questions.

4. Unfortunately, employer renewals are taking longer than expected to receive from your insurance company due to all of the new regulations of the ACA. With that said, know that CIIG will begin working on your renewal at least 90 days prior to your renewal and when the insurance company provides us your renewal increase, we will be calling to schedule our annual renewal meeting. Today, the insurance companies are mailing out renewals roughly 45 days prior to renewal which is later than what we have been accustomed to in the previous year. We will in turn work very hard to renew your case within 3 weeks prior to your renewal.

5. Employers now have the option of allowing employees with Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA’s) to carry over a balance of $500 to the following year. This change can be enacted immediately or can wait until the next open enrollment period for employers who elect this option. Alternatively, employers can choose a grace period instead, which permits employees with FSA’s to have an additional two and a half months to exhaust the amount in their reserve. However, employers cannot offer both a grace period and the $500 carry over. Employers should speak with their FSA administrator for availability and advice regarding these options. Additionally, the employer should have their plan document amended to reflect the changes.

We are very thankful that many of you call us frequently with questions about how the ACA affects you, the employer, and how the individual mandate will affect your employees. On behalf of our staff at CIIG, thank you for your commitment to allowing us to manage your benefit plans now and in the future.