The plans and rates that we have today will never be available again making now the perfect time to lock into a plan. We are predicting that health insurance premiums on policies written after January 1, 2014 will be significantly higher than they are now. We know this because in the few states that already have mandated guaranteed issue without regard to pre-existing conditions (see Massachusetts article) one can pay up to double than those states without the mandate. This all changes January 1, 2014, when the remainder of the Affordable Care Act goes into effect and this mandate becomes the law of the land. Under the Affordable Care Act insurance companies can only raise premiums on existing policies by 10% annually. By evaluating now and making sure you have the appropriate coverage, and at the best value, it will shield you against a possible dramatic increase if you have to purchase insurance after December 31, 2013.
What are the important issues that CRE professionals should be considering?
- If you are a real estate company offering your professionals the opportunity to purchase insurance through a group, a decision should be made now as to the future of retaining this group. As I have mentioned in a previous blog post, CRE “Need to Know”: 2014 Health Insurance Changes, insurance experts are predicting that many groups will most likely dissolve as they no longer have a need to exist. Delaying this decision until 2014 can cost your people a lot of money.
- If you are an individual CRE professional and are purchasing your own health insurance either through a group or individually, please make sure you have the appropriate coverage and at the best value to shield you against a possible dramatic increase if you have to purchase insurance after December 31, 2013.
- The Act affects all major medical policies equally. It does not matter if you have Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Health Care, Humana or any other carrier.
- One last important tidbit. You have probably heard about the state “exchanges” where you will be able to purchase insurance. This will benefit very few of you. The reality is that the exchanges will be for lower income people because it is through these exchanges that government subsidies are issued.