Kilpatrick

Carrier News

UHC Offering Transitional Relief Renewals in Small Group in 2017; Expects Program Extension Beyond 2017

UHC anticipates that the Trump administration will extend Transitional Relief allowing small employers to renew existing, non-compliant plans beyond 2017.

CMS originally offered Transitional Relief in response to public pressure from small employers and individuals about losing their existing coverage in 2014 when the ACA’s coverage and rating reforms were scheduled to take effect. The program was extended twice. Under the last extension, all non-compliant plans must terminate by 12/31/2017. In reaction to CMS’s second extension, UHC allowed affected employers with Feb-Dec anniversary dates to request a Jan 1, 2017 renewal in order change their anniversary date and maximize their ability to retain non-compliant plans. Many groups with Transitional Relief plans did not elect to make this change.

President Trump issued a Presidential memorandum on Jan 20, 2017 (his first day in office) that included a directive to federal agencies “to waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation of any provision or requirement of the [ACA] that would impose a…cost…or regulatory burden on individuals, families, [or]…purchasers of health insurance.” The directive implies further and perhaps indefinite extension is imminent.

Beginning with Apr 2017 renewal dates, UHC began offering 12-month Transitional Relief renewal options to small groups. See sample renewal letter. The 12-month contract is contingent on Transitional Relief being extended beyond 2017. If not extended, UHC will be forced to terminate the existing plan and offer ACA-compliant, community rated plans for a Jan 1, 2018 effective date. UHC’s renewal package also includes ACA-compliant plan options as alternative plans.

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