Benefits Cafe began a COVID-19 Crisis Update page last week where we have information from governments and insurance companies about their revised policies to accommodate these unusual times. The update page also has breaking news that should be helpful to businesses that are forced to make difficult decisions. Today, [...]
Given the rates SHOP released and the new rules for rating individual and small group health insurance, I am led to the conclusion that some small groups (and individuals) will likely pay much more than they currently do - while some may pay less.
Blue Cross of California has announced that they will issue all of their small group clients (i.e., employers with 2-50 employees) a one-time credit of 18% of the monthly health insurance premium. The credit will be based on active enrollment in the Blue Shield plan on July 31, 2012 and it will apply to the September 2012 bill. Click for more details and resources about the Blue Shield credit.
California Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) vs. California Major Risk Medical Insurance Plan (MRMIP)
The California Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) was set up under the new Federal health insurance reform law (PPACA). It’s supposed to go until 1/1/2014 at which time there will be no medical underwriting and all insurance companies must take everyone without regard to pre-existing medical conditions – i.e., you can transition to a standard plan. For someone close to age 65, enrolling on this plan would take him/her until he/she is eligible for Medicare which is currently "Guarantee Issue." Read about eligibility and cost of the PCIP based on our analysis of this government program.
One provision of the new Federal health insurance reform law (PPACA) that became effective on September 23, 2010 was the requirement that all health insurance companies approve children under age 19 without regard for health status. While the new law requires insurance companies to sell coverage there is no requirement for parents to buy health insurance for their children. Fearing "adverse selection" where people would wait until they got to the hospital to sign up for coverage then cancel it after they received treatment (like buying fire insurance when your house is on fire) virtually all of the insurance companies refused to sell children only health insurance. In response, Governor Schwarzenegger signed AB 2244 into law September 20, 2010. This new law requires all California health insurance companies to offer children only individual policies on a "guarantee issue' (GI) basis beginning January 1, 2011. Failure to comply will cause the California health insurance company to be banned from selling individual health insurance plans for 5 years. This penalty is so sever that it forces insurance companies to either accept all children under these conditions, or go out of business. Read more about AB 2244 requirements and the law surrounding guaranteed health insurance for children in California.
California health insurance companies are welcoming the second decade of the 21st Century with huge rate increases for small employers (2-50 employees). The largest rate increases are on the HSA (Health Savings Account) compatible plans. For their part, the health insurance companies blame the increases in the HSA plans [...]
Aetna announced that on August 7, 2009 they will send a notice to former employees of their small business clients, terminated from employment between September 1, 2008 and May 10, 2009, advising them that they may be eligible for the Federal Subsidy for COBRA continuation of their health insurance. [...]
In the California small group health insurance market Health Net's HMO plans are always well priced. Effective August 1, 2009 for groups located in Los Angeles their Elect Open Access HMO plan will be 5 percent less expensive than the Health Net Standard Option HMO. The Standard and the [...]
With summer and graduation upon us, we wanted to help people understand issues related to college health insurance. Incoming freshmen have different concerns than recent grads; who have different needs than graduate students and we've written an article for each situation. Parents of these students will also find these [...]
Anthem Blue Cross of California announced that they will be making major changes to their small group health insurance plans effective July 1, 2009. Specifically, they will be adding 14 new plans. Beginning January 1, 2010, Anthem Blue Cross will discontinue 9 plans. Anthem calls their entire portfolio of [...]