Over the last week or two, Blue Cross and BlueShield of Illinois (BCBSIL) started to release the 2014 Market Impact Analysis with premium options for employers. This is where employers can actually start strategizing for 2014. If you do nothing, you will default to a new Obamacare compliant plan and you are stuck with it going forward, period. Employers need to act now before their deadline is up.
It can be quite confusing and it would not be surprising to anyone, if the employer called their insurance agent and they didn't hear back from them. With or without them, employers still need to plan for 2014. Find a new agent that is up to speed and willing to help.
Inside these group renewal kits, or Market Impact Analysis, employers have to be careful with their options. On a couple of the premium options, they don't include all the new Obamacare fees going into 2014. This is extremely important for budgeting going forward.
If an employer wants to make any plan changes, they have to submit their plan change by September 23, 2013, otherwise they are out of luck. If you do not want to make an actual plan change, the renewal selection has to be into BCBSIL by October 15, 2013.
Going into the fourth quarter, these deadlines can be tough to make a timely decision, especially if the employer does not have any guidance. The employer's decision, or lack of decision, can affect the whole group going into 2014. Do not let this one pass you by.
There are small businesses in the Chicago area that will see an impact on their premiums heading into 2014. This could be anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000, in addition to their current premiums. A small business may have a tough time swallowing this kind of increase. Employers need to read the information given by BCBSIL to plan out their 2014. Otherwise, the business will be smacked with one of the biggest increases they have ever had, and lose the coverage they have enjoyed.
Action plan: Once employers receive their group renewal packet, they need to review it, thoroughly. If they want to make any plan adjustments, they need to make a decision on which plan and submit to BCBSIL by September 23, 2013. If they want to keep the same plan, but change their renewal options, then employers need to notify BCBSIL by October 15, 2013. Otherwise the new renewal will be January 1st, 2014, with a brand new Obamacare compliant health plan. Employers will lose their current coverage. Action is required and employers do not have a whole lot of time.