open for business updates

 

We won't send a ton of junk, just the good stuff.


27-Jan-2015
Reflections on the ACA's first year

As I sit down to write this brief on health insurance and the Affordable Care Act (ACA), we are now one week into the second open enrollment season of Obamacare.


Year one had many highs and lows as people adjusted to the changes. Thus far, we have seen improvements and hope that success continues as the 2015 shortened enrollment period comes to an end on February 15.


From an area-market perspective based on my client book of business, policy holders in the individual market that kept their old plans at the end of last year experienced the largest premium increases. My clients showed an average increase of about 25 percent, with some as high as 50 percent. People with ACA compliant individual plans saw increases averaging between 10 to 20 percent.


It appears carriers are starting to price ACA compliant plans more aggressively, forcing people to make the change or pay more in premiums. However, non-ACA compliant plans continue to have lower out-of-pocket exposure when it comes to claims. Insureds are allowed to continue to keep “most” of those old non-ACA compliant plans, but will want to contact their local agent to make sure they are still able to do so.


Employers from my book of business with less than 50 employees and who provide group health plans are seeing modest increases, ranging from 5 to 15 percent. Employers with 51 to 99 employees, however, are seeming to experience increases from 25 to 30 percent, with some as high as 40 percent.


My large employers book (100+ employees) saw the most favorable renewals with most of them receiving decreases or increases under 5 percent.


I have started to hear from my customers, carriers, and colleagues about the recent clarification to IRS Notice 2013-54. It basically states that all employer arrangements that reimburse employees for individual premiums violate the ACA’s market reforms, regardless of whether the employer treats the money as pre-tax or post-tax for the employee.


During my years in the business, I have always seen this as a “gray area,” as some employers give employees money to buy health insurance on their own in lieu of having an internal group health plan. Some did it on a pre-tax basis, some on post-tax. Now it seems the ACA is trying to stop that as well, making employers form group health plans or give their employees nothing and require them to go to the individual markets/exchanges regardless of the employer’s size. It will be interesting to see how this one unfolds.

Now that the elections are over, I continue to be asked, “What happens next?” I wish I had a crystal ball, but I don’t. I expect more delays and a possible elimination of the ‘Pay or Play’ Employer Mandate. I don’t think we will see a full repeal, as some of the positives the ACA has created have really helped some folks—no more pre-existing condition limitation being one of them. One thing I do know; in this business the only sure thing is change.


About the Author

Ryan Hansen
Ryder Insurance
Ryan graduated from UNL. He currently serves on the St. Francis Foundation Board and the Goodwill Industries of Greater NE Board. He was a recent Grand Island "Top 35 Under 35" selection.



Tell A Friend

Tell a Friend

From:

To:

Check out this article from Open for Business Magazine!
 
Captcha Image
 

Submitting Form...

The server encountered an error.

Form received.

Captcha Image


Dredging, Flood Control and Safety28-May-2015

Harlan County Reservoir more than recreational area PHOTO COURTESY JORN OLSEN Each year over 500,000 people visit H..


Serving Food à la "Cart"28-May-2015

Opening a food cart stand: a legal how-to There are several kinds of mobile food establishments that can be permitted in Nebraska. Mobil..


Export Growth31-Mar-2015

Nebraska food companies up game Nebraska food companies continue to make great progress growing their export sales. There are a number of p..


Eminent Domain12-Mar-2015

How to protect your business Whether you see it coming, or it comes out of the blue, the request (or demand) by a pipeline company or ..


Affordable Care Act27-Jan-2015

Reflections on the ACA's first year As I sit down to write this brief on health insurance and the Affordable Care Act (ACA), we are now one w..


The Meet Up27-Jan-2015

Positive impressions lead to lasting connections Name one experience more intimidating than an initial client consultation. Most pe..


Selecting a Distinctive Trademark22-Oct-2014

Protecting marketing collateral When consumers see shoes with the Nike™ swoosh on them, everything they know about Nike instantl..


Protecting Your Business03-Sep-2014

The validity of non-compete agreements NON-COMPETE AGREEMENT: A promise, in a sale-of-business, partnership, or employment contrac..


Bringing Your Team into Social Responsibility Mission04-Jun-2014

Bringing Your Team into Social Responsibility Mission While being a socially responsible business is not a legal obligation the benefits pay off ..


Refreshing Tax Law09-Apr-2014

2013 Filing Changes to Take into Consideration At the beginning of this year's tax season, I asked myself what tax law changes should b..


Legal Structure Broken Down21-Jan-2014

The importance of choosing the right entity Every business owner must choose the manner in which a new business will be conducted. An individ..


Our Partners:

© 2015 Open for Business Magazine, LLC  All rights reserved