Friday, July 05, 2013

And Anthem joins in...

As we noted the other day, some carriers are looking for creative ways to help their clients forestall at least some of the train-wreck:

"If we would like, UHC would change our renewal date to December 1 ... The primary benefit in taking this offer would be to delay the impact of the major rate increases due after January 1 ... A secondary benefit accrues to us due to the nature of our plan: we currently have an HSA-compliant plan"

Many (most?) high deductible health plans (eg Health Savings Accounts) will have to be re-negotiated next year since they won't be ObamaTax-compliant. By putting off the renewal an extra few months, employers buy time to figure out what to do about that.

In the meantime, Anthem has now joined United Healthcare in offering renewal date changes to its existing small group clientele (via email):

"Clients on our non-grandfathered Small Group (2-50) plans ... will be offered a December 2013 off-cycle policy effective date. If they accept the off-cycle policy effective date change offer, they will keep their current plan until November 30, 2014"

They point out several advantages:
• Ease into the new market and delay potentially higher rate increases
• Have more time to work with you to decide what coverage best meets their needs
• Keep their current plan through November 30, 2014
• Lock in a new premium through November 30, 2014

One thing they do note is the very real possibility that this means an extra 2013 rate hike (something our UHC rep assured us would not be the case for their clients). This could just be standard CYA verbiage, but who knows.

One thing Anthem's doing which I haven't seen (yet) from UHC is that they're sending out notices to its eligible groups, and that the "offer letter will illustrate their current rate, their off-cycle policy rate and their estimated 2014 ACA compliant plan rate."

So it's not a complete shot in the dark for small employers.
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