Home > Employee Benefits > Today could be Obamageddon for Massachusetts employers

Today could be Obamageddon for Massachusetts employers

opEd-massStateIn an ironic twist, today Massachusetts employers and local health plans await news that the Massachusetts Division of Insurance will attempt to rescue us from a nightmare scenario created by Obamacare. Today, April 5, The Mass DOI must notify HHS of our intentions to “unmerge” our group health plans from our individual market. Failure to do so will mandate that all Mass employers under 100 employees be priced and treated like a single person entity. Specifically:

  • No discounts for industry
  • Every plan must renew on January 1
  • Every employee will be individually priced on the monthly bill based on age/sex
  • No discounts for wellness programs
  • Rates will increase over 25% for many employers

Sadly, Massachusetts merged the markets in 2007 to help bring the individual pricing rates down 25%. HHS made it clear last month that they were unmoved by our plea for a waiver, so no waiver would be granted no matter how practical the argument. So we are left with few options.

If the decision is made today, we are still not out of the woods. The Massachusetts legislature needs to approve the change within 30 days and many groups will fight it. There is a plan to use a new health tax (All employers are being hit with) to soften the burden in the one person market.

So we might dodge this crisis. But knowing Obamacare like I know Obamacare, this will be a very busy blog.

About the Author

Christopher Nadeau is a Principal at William Gallagher Associates (WGA) and head of the Employee Benefits Group. Mr. Nadeau counsels his department to develop and redesign employee benefits programs to match the corporate philosophy, long-term needs and objectives of their clients. He is also an industry leader on Healthcare reform and the cost impact and administrative burden on employers.

617.646.0351 | cnadeau@wgains.com | Follow Chris on Twitter at @Chris_Nadeau

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