Over the past several years, the health insurance industry has been in an upheaval. The ObamaCare legislation has changed the industry significantly, especially with benefits being reduced and premiums rising each year.
Will the advent of association health plans help solve the problem or create more problems? We will have to wait to see how this all plays out. The executive order was just released a short time ago. Yesterday, HPN/Sierra announced that they will be offering association health plans through the Henderson, Latin and Boulder City Chambers of Commerce. As of this blog, we also know that the Las Vegas Metro Chamber will be announcing soon that they are also entering the association health plan market. These plans will have some different benefits perhaps from the ACA but will also allow sole proprietors to buy coverage where under the ACA they had to buy induvial coverage.
To this blogger, this is a resurgence of the association health plans Nevada had for 35 years through the Las Vegas and Henderson Chambers. Both plans were exceptional, as I was one of their members. Consider these facts:
- There was one rate for all participants (Not age rated as all other plans), but was underwritten so members with health issues paid more.
- In my case, I saved $6700 annually on health insurance when you compared the same association plan to the one that was offered without the association. All one had to do was pay the annual Chamber dues.
I think the association health plans will be a good thing for our industry while allowing better-priced plans to be made available to the public.
The other major change in the health insurance marketplace is in short-term medical plans. Previously these plans had a three to six-month duration. Now they can be purchased for up to a year. Several states are processing legislation to disallow them while other states are adopting them. The issue is how these plans will affect the affordable care act? These plans will not have all the benefits of the ACA and will be less expensive. Some think this will derail the ACA because people will choose the short term plans instead of the ACA. These plans are underwritten, meaning if you have certain medical conditions you will not get approval. This blogger doesn’t think the short term plans will have much of an effect on the ACA, but time will tell?
Stay tuned as many things will change in the near future for health insurance. More to come as it happens.
The Barend Agency Inc.
Len Barend, broker