White House Announces Potential Fix for Cancelled Health Plans

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has created new health insurance coverage requirements for 2014. These new requirements have resulted in insurance companies issuing policy cancellation notices to millions of Americans. On November 14, 2013, President Obama announced a policy that may allow individuals and small businesses whose coverage is being cancelled to keep their coverage for an additional year.

State insurance regulators will need to approve the transition policy in individual states and insurance companies are not required to follow the transition relief and renew plans. Additional information is explained in the attached bulletin. We will keep you informed as local insurance companies determine how they will proceed. Contact ChamberChoice with any additional questions you may have in the meantime at 1-800-377-3539.

 

Notices to Employees

Beginning January 1, 2014, individuals and employees of small businesses will have access to insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) health insurance exchanges, which are also known as Health Insurance Marketplaces. Open enrollment under the Marketplaces began on October 1, 2013.  ACA requires all employers to provide all new hires and current employees with a written notice about ACA’s Marketplaces.

The Department of Labor (DOL) has prepared model Marketplace notices which are linked below to provide guidance for employers to use in satisfying the Marketplace notice requirement.

Model Marketplace Notice for employers that offer a health plan.

Model Marketplace Notice for employers that do not offer a health plan

The DOL also set a compliance deadline for the Exchange notices. Employers must provide employees with a Marketplace notice by October 1, 2013.

 

Employer Mandates

The employer-shared responsibilities of the ACA, also referred to to “pay or play” rules, impose penalties on large employers that do not offer affordable, minimum value coverage to their full-time employees and their dependents. For purposes of these rules, a large employer is one that employs on average at least 50 full-time employees (including full-time equivalents) on business days during the preceding calendar year. The employer penalties have been delayed until January 1, 2015.

ChamberChoice has provided an employee size calculator to determine if you are considered “small” or “large” in relation to the Affordable Care Act.

Members with questions about Exchange notices or providing benefits to members can contact ChamberChoice at 1-800-377-3539.

 

Individual Mandates

Beginning January 1, 2014, ACA requires most individuals to obtain acceptable health insurance coverage for themselves and their family members or pay a penalty. This rule is often referred to as the “individual mandate.” Individuals may be eligible for an exemption for the penalty under certain circumstances.

The penalty for not obtaining acceptable health insurance coverage will be phased in over a three-year period, and is the greater of two amounts – the “flat dollar amount” and “percentage of income amount.”

The penalty amount will be the greater of:

$95 of 1 percent of income in 2014;

$325 or 2 percent of income in 2015; and

$695 or 2.5 percent of income in 2014 and beyond.

 

You can also find many additional, easy to understand resources at the ChamberChoice Online Resource Center.