Why is Grandma involved in my company benefits?
Let's review: Grandfathering was a category the Affordable Care Act gave to policies that were active prior to the law being signed on March 23, 2010. In essence those policies were exempt from some of the provisions of the law. This related to Individual & Family plans as well as some plans obtained through a company benefit package.
It was only a matter of time before Grandma wanted her piece of the ACA. Just a few months ago, California Senate Bill 1446 made it's way across the Senate floor and was then signed into effect July 7 2014 by Governor Brown. Grandmothering applies only to SMALL GROUP employers (under 50 employees) whose policy is NON-Grandfathered. Did I lose you? It basically means if your company plan is through a small employer and the effective date was AFTER March 23, 2010 then you MAY be able to keep that policy for 1 more year without having to enroll in an Affordable Care Act compliant policy.
But there is another catch. Grandma likes to keep you on your toes, after all.
This is not a mandate so it is up to the insurance carriers to implement. Most have chosen to allow only 4th quarter renewal dates to utilize this option. Some carriers, such as Aetna, are not allowing it at all.
It's extremely important that your agent/broker compare the ACA plans with the existing pre-ACA plans to determine the best option. There is not a "1 solution fits all" when it comes to implementing the new provisions. And the easy way is not always the right way.
If you're a small group employer and need knowledgeable guidance, it would be my pleasure to discuss a solution that fits your needs while educating you along the way.
Jolene Bibian, VP