Friday, August 03, 2007

Mini-Med Revisited

A while back, we looked at how the market was reacting to the new spate of limited benefit ("mini-med") plans that were popping up. Most of these (at least, all the ones we'd seen to that point) were built on an "individual" chassis; that is, available to individuals or folks in some kind of association or club. They weren't subject to HIPAA laws requiring guaranteed issue or pre-existing condition coverage. Indeed, most of the MM's I've seen have waiting periods of up to one year for pre-existing conditions.
That may be changing:
At least one carrier is now set to market a group-based mini-med, with some pretty significant bells and whistles. For one thing, it's guaranteed issue, and has no waiting period for pre-existing conditions, even maternity. For another, it's available for groups as small as 2 employees, with very liberal participation requirements for larger groups.
So what's not to love?
Well, let's remember that this is still a limited benefit plan, which means that a catastrophic claim is not going to be covered as well (monetarily) as with a "traditional" major medical plan. And because it pays based on pre-determined benefit amounts, an ICU claim (for example) could leave one with some hefty balances.
Still, for folks whose employers don't offer group plans, or for part-timers who may not be eligible, this could be a terrific opportunity.
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