Monthly Archives: July 2013

Health Insurance With Several Northeast Wisconsin Chambers Comes to an End

After nearly two decades working with area Chambers, Network Health has decided not to renew their partnership.  As a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), there are two items that directly affected NHP’s decision. One is the requirement for community rating of small group health insurance and the other is the medical loss ratio requirement (MLR).

If you were covered under a Chamber health plan, your plan or rates will not change. It’s important for businesses to know they are no longer required to renew a Chamber membership in order to maintain current Network Health insurance coverage and rates.  However, as a long-term Chamber member ourselves, we believe in the value the area Chambers bring to our community and we encourage business owners to maintain their memberships.

At Hanson Benefits, we remain heavily involved with Healthcare Reform through various committees and working groups in Madison. We will keep you informed as vital information continues to be released.

Affordable Care Act: What’s Delayed and What’s Not

The Obama Administration announced yesterday a “one-year” delay in the Affordable Care Act requirement that businesses with 50 or more employees provide coverage to their workers or pay a penaltyMost of the employers impacted by the delay already offer health insurance to their employees.

I have been asked by clients if any other parts of ACA (ObamaCare) will be impacted. The on-line Exchange (open enrollment) will not be delayed and will go in to effect October 1. In Wisconsin, the Exchange will be an option for individuals with low to middle income (some who may qualify for subsidies).  The elimination of pre-existing conditions (no medical underwriting), community rating and a host of other changes to healthcare reform will still remain on the same timeline for implementation.

Health Insurance Risk-Sharing Plan (HIRSP) is still on target to “sunset” shortly after the Exchange is fully operational (January 1, 2014). Our agency and others in our State continue to place individuals into the HIRSP high risk pool who are unable to obtain coverage elsewhere.

In all the hype to lower the uninsured population, it is yet to be seen if those individuals will actually spend the money to purchase health insurance. It’s estimated 500,000 Wisconsinites will be health insurance eligible. This includes people already enrolled in the HIRSP high risk pool, those covered today under BadgerCare (Medicaid) and the uninsured. It’s important for consumers to know that insurance companies who are selling in the Exchange will need to offer individual health insurance for the same rate in or out of the exchange. It’s for these reasons I still hold on to the belief that indeed there may NOT be anything affordable about the Affordable Care Act.