As a leader in serving the California health insurance marketplace for individuals on the lookout for affordable California health insurance plans and the high performance, cost effective group health insurance California businesses provide their valued employee teams, Vitality is constantly at work scanning the post-Health Reform landscape for important changes and updates that can affect how you buy and use health insurance!
Today we feature important news that can have a vitally important impact on the group health benefits marketplace and especially smaller groups who need the ability to move their health coverage in pursuit of affordability goals. On November 15, 2010, the departments of Health & Human Services, Labor, and the Treasury announced an amendment to the Interim Final Rules for group health plans and health insurance coverage related to the retention of a health plan’s grandfathered status under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Under the terms of the amendment, a group will now have the ability to switch its health plan to another insurance carrier without forfeiting that health plan’s status as a grandfathered plan. The switch can be made providing:
The new plan offers the same level of coverage as the old. Any step down in coverage triggers a loss of grandfathered status.
The move does not result in significant cost increases.
The move doesn’t result in the loss of plan benefits.
The move doesn’t result in any changes as described in the original grandfather rule that was part of the PPACA.
A final element to the amendment also requires that any group that is making a switch to a new carrier with the intent of retaining their plan’s grandfathered status must provide the new insurance issuer documentation describing the prior health coverage sufficient for the new issuer to determine whether any change made to the coverage triggers a loss of grandfathering status as set forth by the rules in the Interim Final Rules.
A final comment: It is important to also note that this amendment is not retroactive and only applies to changes that are effective on or after November 15, 2010.
The amendment is intended to help business owners retain their ability to ‘shop’ the health plan strategies they and their employees value amongst different carriers in an effort to keep the health coverage they want as affordable as possible. The previous take on grandfathering had eliminated the ability to move plans and left businesses – especially smaller businesses – even more vulnerable to the rising costs of employee health care benefits.
Is your current group health insurance California specialist keeping you up to speed on the changes taking place in the group market? Is your Group specialist acting as a valued strategic partner to your business? They should be. If you have questions or concerns about how to navigate your company’s health benefits through a post-Health Reform landscape please reach out to the Vitality California health insurance team of professionals today for our always free quotes for group health insurance California plans; a detailed review of your current company health benefits strategy and a clear, concise proposal showing how you can achieve the best and most affordable health benefits strategy for your valued employee team moving forward. All Vitality client services are free: You will never be charged a fee for our services which include all of our client consultations that can be arranged at a time and place that is convenient to your hectic schedule!