Group Health Insurance has changed dramatically from what we had in 2013 and before. The plans are all different, including the prices. Without sounding pessimistic, the Benefits have been reduced, and the prices have increased, overall. There will always be exceptions, but all the plans now, with Health Reform, have to have certain benefits embedded in each plan, which in turn increases prices. Gone are the really high deductible plans that offered plans at a tremendous savings for people. One of the biggest cost increases has come with insurance companies now charging for the first 3 children in a family, AND for the spouse’s age. If you have adult children on the plan, they are charged as adults, driving the cost for some employees over 100% in some cases.
Health Insurance changes for Small Businesses, waiting periods change, benefits change
Starting in 2014, the waiting periods for employees have been reduced to 60 days from the time of hire, maximum. No more 6 month waiting periods for companies to impose on new hires. There are tons of mandates that employers have to abide by as well….certain documentation that they have to give to all employees, whether they are on the Business Health Insurance plan or not. Mandatory reporting for all companies are coming for 2015 too. Again, all the benefits for plans in 2014 have changed. They all have to have what they call “essential benefits” embedded in each plan, whether you want it or not. Some of the main cost drivers for the insurance companies have been some of the mandates that the Federal Government have imposed.
HSA insurance plans for Business Group Health Plans have taken a hit and are not as popular
When HSAs came into play in 2004, President Bush made available Business Health Insurance plans that were very affordable for people. Sure, the deductibles were pretty high with some plans, but the savings was tremendous. They became super popular almost immediately, and have become the most popular type of health plan over the last 10 years. Now, with Health Reform, the HSA has diminished in popularity a bit. Mostly because there is not the tremendous price savings as before. The reason is that with Group Health Plans now, all the plans within a metal level have to be within 2% of actuarial value of each other. That means that the plans cannot vary much from each other….minor tweeks are all that you’ll see amongst the “Bronze” plans or “Silver” plans. Where we headed from here is anyone’s guess.
For expert advice call Brauer Insurance….we are Business Health Insurance specialists. Call us at (408) 421-5555.