As a result of the current election, there’s been a lot of talk about what’s next for health insurance. Although there’s no way to predict the future, Bob Chiesa, president and CEO of Custom Benefits Insurance Group Inc., lays out the facts retailers need to be aware of and the alternative options that are worth exploring.
- Every person in the United States must still be covered by a health insurance plan. This can be a group plan through your employer, an individual plan you have gotten on your own or through the governmental exchange. If you are not covered by a medical plan, there will be penalties.
- Children younger than 26 are still allowed to remain on their parent’s plan. That being said, almost all plans, whether an individual plan or an employer plan of less than 50 employees, there is a cost or charge per every dependent.
- Employers who offer medical plans with less than 50 employees will continue, in most cases, to have the rates vary by the age of the employee, the age of the employee’s spouse and the number of children.
- Employers with more than 50 employees are required to offer medical insurance to all full-time employees.
- Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a full-time employee is defined as an employee working more than 30 hours a week.
- In addition, larger employers with more than 50 employees cannot charge the employee more the 9.69 percent of the employee’s household income for the cost of the lowest offered, ACA compliant single rate.
- A larger employer can charge the difference between the above rate and the cost to cover dependents to the employee.
- For all employers offering a group medical plan, a full-time employees coverage must begin no later than the 91st day after their hire date.
The Alternative Options
- Consider offering a high-deductible plan. If you currently offer a group medical plan, consider offering a second one with a much higher deductible. Most carriers will allow this. It is usually viewed positively by employees, and it is less expensive. The employer is only required to contribute a certain percentage to the lowest ACA-compliant plan.
- Look at other carriers. It’s normal to periodically look into other carriers when it comes to homeowners and car insurance. This should be done for your health insurance as well. Certain carriers provide lower rates to certain industries, and that varies per insurance carrier.
- The NRHA Health Insurance plan offers composite rates. This means the rates do not vary by age or the number of children on the plan. The single rate is the same for all employees as well as the employee/spouse rate and the family rate. Custom Benefits also automatically looks at various carriers on your behalf to secure the best rate on your NRHA Health Insurance plan.