Update on Purchasing Individual Insurance Via Employer Funded Tax Deductible Accounts

This week we received some long awaited clarification about whether or not an employer can provide funds to an employee through a tax deductible account such as an HRA or Section 125 plan to purchase individual insurance on or off the exchanges.

The final say on this is that because the underlying HRA and Section 125 plans do not comply with the requirement to have no “limits” on preventive health care required under the law, these plans will be out of compliance and subject the employer to the painful $100 per employee per day penalty written as part of the law.

HRA plans can still be used in conjunction with group health plans and maintain their tax favored status.

PPACA Update for Individual and Small Policy Owners

BCBS NC will be allowing individual health policy owners and small group policy owners the ability to retain their pre-PPACA plan of benefits until 2017. This will be allowed even if the plan design is not compliant with requirements of the new law.

Suzy Johnson recognized by the Charlotte Business Journal as 2014 Women in Business Achievement Award Winner.

This year Suzy Johnson has been chosen as one of the 25 distinguished female business leaders to be recognized for their achievements in business and their impact on the Charlotte community. Ms. Johnson and her fellow honorees will be receiving their awards at the 18th annual Women in Business Achievement Awards luncheon to be held at the Charlotte Convention Center on June 3.

Sitting tight for a decision on whether small groups will continue to be allowed to keep their health plans

As of April 21 2014, we know that NC small group businesses who have a group health plan with BCBS of NC or United Health Care are being allowed to renew the plan as is under the pre-PPACA rating model, even if the plan is non compliant with PPACA requirements. The client can purchase a PPACA compliant plan if it is more beneficial and less costly. Because our actual client experience is showing us that 85% or more of small group clients are paying dramatically higher premiums under PPACA and are typically being mapped to a plan with a higher out of pocket maximum this is good news. We have heard that Coventry is trying to allow clients the ability to retain their current plan for renewals 8/1/2014 and after. Since January 1, 2014 all small groups with Coventry have been required to move to a PPACA compliant plan. We are hoping that BCBS of NC and United Health Care will be able to extend the “as is” renewal timeline past October 2014 into 2015 and after. We have been informed they are both working on this but are not able to provide definite direction yet.