California Senate Bill 1446 (“SB 1446″) was signed by Governor Brown on July 7, 2014, to provide some small employers with non-grandfathered health insurance plans in effect as of December 31, 2013, the option to renew their existing coverage for one year, rather than be required to move to new ACA-compliant coverage by the end of 2014. The employer is not eligible if they are enrolled in ACA compliant plans. Grandfathered plans (plans that were in force prior to March 23, 2010) are NOT impacted by SB 1446.
The new law provides employers with 50 or fewer employees the ability to renew their small group health plan if the policy was in effect as of December 31, 2013, and still in force at the time SB 1446 was signed into law as of July 7, 2014. Plans that meet this definition are now referred to as “Grandmothered” plans. SB 1446 will permit these Grandmothered plans to continue to renew until January 1, 2015 and those policies to remain in force until December 2015. This change moves state law closer to recent federal policy changes, allowing for a longer transition period to ACA–compliant plans. SB 1446 has an urgency measure, that provides the new law to take effect immediately after signing.
The small group policies affected by SB 1446 must still include many ACA and state-based mandated benefits, such as preventive healthcare coverage without copays or deductibles, no lifetime caps on benefits, maternity care, coverage for autism, and the elimination of gender discrimination in setting premiums. The insurance carriers will be handling “Grandmothering” different, depending on their position they opt in the market. Please refer to UpdatedCarriersGrandmotheringGuide_20140711B (1) (1) for more details.
The new law also requires insurers who offer “Grandmothered” plans for renew to provide notice to the group contract holder regarding the option to renew that states:
“New health care coverage options are available in California. You currently have health care coverage that is not required to comply with many new laws. A new health benefit plan may be more affordable and/or offer more comprehensive benefits. New plans may also have limits on deductibles and out-of-pocket costs, while your existing plan may have no such limits.
You have the option to remain with your current coverage for one more year or switch to new coverage that complies with the new laws. Covered California, the state’s new health insurance marketplace, offers small employers health insurance from a number of companies through tis Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP). Federal tax credits are available through the SHOP to those small employers that qualify. Talk to Covered California (1-877-453-9198), your plan representative, or your insurance agent to discuss your options.”
Please contact MNJ Insurance Solutions at (714) 716-4303 to discuss your group’s current plan and options. We can evaluate Grandmothered plan options and rates, and compare them to the ACA-compatible plans to explore both options and rates.
Reference: CAHU News Agents can Use (July 7, 2014), “Grandmothering Bill Signed: Takes Immediate Effect”
This content is provided for informational purposes only. While we have attempted to provide current, accurate and clearly expressed information, this information is provided “as is” and MNJ Insurance Solutions makes no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy and completeness. The information provided should not be construed as legal or tax advice or as a recommendation of any kind. External users should seek professional advice form their own attorneys and tax and benefit plan advisers with respect to their individual circumstances and needs.