Previously, Jeff Hess – the individual, group, and ancillary expert here at Empower Brokerage – discussed the most significant way in which the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also referred to as Obamacare, has impacted Group Health. The number one way being higher deductibles and the removal of dependent coverage from group benefits. In the video below, Jeff Hess expands on group health plans and whether they’re here to stay!
Level-Funded and MEC-plans
Since the law first passed, people thought that small group would just start going away because employers and consequently employees couldn’t afford it. Initially, group insurance started going down as a lot of employers were getting rid of their plan, but now we’ve been seeing an uptick. One reason is because ACA has come out with level-funded plans. In addition, they’ve also come out with MEC-plans.
MEC-plans are Minimal Essential Coverage plans, meaning they’re qualified. These different plan designs – level-funded and MEC – help bring down the costs. Level-funded or partially self-funded plans used to be exclusively for large groups with around 5,000-10,000 employees. Now, because of ACA, insurance companies offer level-funded plans all the way down to two employees.
There are definitely some good benefits that help lower prices as a result of ACA. As far as small group goes, it’s sticking around. Is it going to be $250 deductibles like it used to be? No. The sheer costs of medicine/prescriptions have skyrocketed. Also, the overall costs of procedures and everything else have risen. So, insurance, in order to cover the usual customary, has risen along with the minimal essential benefits that have to be covered.
Since insurance is oftentimes overwhelmingly confusing, we want to shed light on this industry by answering YOUR questions. So if you have any questions or concerns about group plans, comment below and your question may be the topic of our next video!