What to Expect When Expecting Your Company’s Health Insurance Renewal

While receiving your company’s health insurance renewal may not be the bundle of joy you expected, it definitely needs some of your time and attention.

This baby arrives on your desk usually 60 days before your next renewal date either in the mail or electronically. Your thoughts turn to, “Now what?” “What do I do?” “Do I do anything? “Do I just ignore it and let it renew?”

Here are some best practices:

  1. Know where your group falls in terms of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) definition of size of group under 50 full time equivalents (FTEs), 51-99 (FTEs) or 100+ (FTEs). Your group size will matter in terms of the renewal options you will have this year and going forward.
  2. Know the medical trend in your area. Was your renewal above or below medical trend? Above medical trend suggests you may have had large claims during the past 12 months or large changes in the demographics of your group.
  3. Have a sense of how your employees feel about the health insurance plan. Have there been claims or care access issues in the last 12 months? Do your employees understand how to use their health insurance plan?
  4. Consider your budget. Can your company afford an increase in premiums? If so how much? How much of the increase will you pass on to your employees? If none, are you willing to make a plan benefit change or shop another carrier?
  5. Is your plan ACA compliant? Does it meet the affordability test? (if your group is over 50 lives) Does it meet the essential benefit test? Does it meet minimum coverage test?
  6. If you received an increase and your company budget cannot tolerate it, consider making a plan change to your benefits to lower costs. Some changes to consider would be increasing the deductible, out of pocket or adding more than one option for your employees to choose. You can also consider taking your plan out to market and letting other insurance companies bid on the business. You can do this on your own or ask an employee benefits agent/broker to do it for you.

It is a lot to consider but with a little TLC and attention you can attend to this baby, put it to bed until the next year and try not to lose any sleep over it.

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