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4 Health Insurance Updates for 2018

4 Health Insurance Updates for 2018
As the end of the year approaches, one item on your to-do list should be reviewing your company’s health insurance plan in preparation for the Jan. 1 renewal deadline.
Health insurance-related laws and regulations are constantly changing. Moving into 2018, there are four important health insurance updates to be aware of. Bob Chiesa, president, and CEO of Custom Benefits Insurance Group, Inc., provided the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) with the following information.

The Traditional Reinsurance Fee is going away.

The Traditional Reinsurance Fee, which was one of the Affordable Care Act taxes, was first introduced in 2014. At first, this cost business owners $63 per insured person per year. In 2015, the cost went down to $44. Then, in 2016, it was reduced to $27 per member per year. To put that into perspective, if an employer insured 10 employees, but each had a family of four also under the insurance plan, the business owner would be paying the $44 fee for 40 people, adding up to more than $1,000. Moving into 2018, the Traditional Reinsurance Fee will no longer be collected.

The Cadillac tax has been delayed.

The Cadillac tax, which is a 40-percent tax on high-cost employer medical plans, has been delayed. The tax was set to go into effect in 2018 but has been pushed back to 2020. The tax was created to charge businesses with insurance plans that the government defines as “too rich” with a high tax. Both political parties agreed that implementation of the tax should be pushed back.

The PCORI Fee will be increased.

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Initiative (PCORI) fee was one that employers started paying in 2014. The fee was original $2 per member per year but has gradually increased over the years. In 2015, the fee increased to $2.08. In 2016, it reached $2.15. This fee is estimated to increase to $2.28 in the coming year. Again, using the example of 10 insured employees with four family members each, this tax would total under $100. This is lower than most fees but is important to note as a fee that is increasing.

Business owners are switching back to group plans for exchanges.

Exchanges, which were created by the Affordable Care Act, allow people to go to a government exchange website to purchase individual medical plans instead of going through group medical plans in the traditional insurance market. Over the past couple of years, smaller employers did away with their group medical plans and switched to exchanges. However, Chiesa says many of these employers are going back to group plans due to a lack of satisfaction with exchanges.

Looking for options?

Finding affordable group health insurance can be challenging. NRHA is here to help. We offer a health insurance program alternative with a host of options in group insurance. Our plan has solid benefits at an affordable rate. It offers flexibility in plan design, isn’t restricted by state boundaries and includes a national pharmacy program that can be customized to fit your specific needs. NRHA’s Health Insurance Program offers health, vision, dental, life and disability insurance options. For more information or to request a quote, visit us online.

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