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The Moment We Have been Waiting For...

Well – here it is - the moment we have been waiting for.  Will Highmark and UPMC allow us to renew non-ACA compliant plans for July 2014 renewals?  If you missed my last post on this subject and have no idea what I am talking about, take a minute to catch up and read it here. (link to last blog?)

Now that we are all caught up, the answer is yes.  UPMC and Highmark have both announced that they will be renewing non-ACA compliant plans, or grandmothered plans, as they are now called in the small group market.  They have not committed to renewing these plans past December 2014, but this at least gives us all some time to further prepare for ACA.

For now, here is what we know.  When renewals come out there will be two sets of rates for each group.  One set will be ACA, and one will be the grandmothered rates.  It will then be up to the group to choose to stay in their current plan, or choose an ACA plan.  This is where you have to rely on an excellent firm, such as Kuzneski Financial Group (cough cough) to guide you through this potentially messy period.  If you want to grandmother your plan, you have to stay in the same product type that you are currently in.  So for example, if you are currently in an HRA, you have to stay in an HRA, but you can change your deductible level in that HRA.  Likewise, if you are in a traditional plan, you must stay within that product, but you can change deductible level.

If you choose to go to an ACA plan, you can, and must change your plan.  You will be faced with the differences in plan design, as well as the big hurdle of the billing differences.  But don’t let that scare you off just yet– depending on the demographics of any one group, you may see a cost savings by choosing ACA.  If an ACA plan would have a decrease in premium and a benefit close to your current plan design, it may be worth your while to explore the ACA options.    Once we see a few renewals, we will have a better idea of what to expect, and individually if each group could benefit from going to ACA or grandmothering in their current plan.

As with any renewal - past, present, and future - we will always do everything we can to provide the best advice possible to clients, weighing out options and ensuring you truly understand the different options that are available to you!

Kuzneski Editors

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