Premium pain for ‘grandmothered’ health plans
By that, we mean if the company has a “grandmothered” health plan, you may be in for some changes in 2016.
Grandmothered is the term insurance agents and brokers have been using for pre-Obamacare policies that were allowed to continue in 2014 and this year even though they often do not meet the Affordable Care Act’s coverage requirements.
That federal law allowed companies with 50 or fewer workers to extend their old health plans into 2014 by conducting early renewals in late 2013. A year later, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill that allowed these plans to continue in 2015, dubbed the grandmother year.
Now, companies that maintained their 2013 plans for two years must shift to policies that meet the act’s coverage standards. In some cases, it means adopting plans with more comprehensive benefits.
Craig Gussin, a San Diego insurance agent, said the grandmothering situation has been keeping him busy.
“We’re seeing companies get letters from the (insurance) carriers with rates for 2016 that are, in some cases, 30 percent to 100 percent higher,” Gussin said. “This year, I am having to see literally every small-group client and talk to them about their options.”
Major rate hikes are not the scenario for the entire health insurance industry in California, although every plan seems to be headed for an increase. Average increases for 150 small-group and individual plans filed with state regulators and listed online by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services include a 21 percent increase for some Blue Shield plans.
To continue reading click here to be directed to the San Diego Union Tribune.