In November of 2015, Chicagoland residents were shocked to learn that Northwestern Memorial hospital, University of Chicago medical center, Rush University medical center and the Lurie Children’s hospital would no longer accept patients who have ACA-qualified (Obamacare) individual health insurance plans.
This action led to a significant increase in the purchase of small group health insurance policies which still provide national PPO networks and still ensure access to the aforementioned teaching hospitals in Chicago.
For small corporations who could afford to insure themselves and 70% of their eligible full time employees (the usual minimum participation requirement), purchasing small group health insurance was a costly fix to the new narrow networks in the individual health insurance marketplace.
The ability to purchase group health insurance for you and your full-time employees is well known. What is not well known is the fact that you can purchase a small group health insurance policy without insuring any of your employees during a small window each year. That window begins on November 1st and ends on December 15th. The same time period the annual ACA Open Enrollment for individual plans begins and ends.
During this little known ‘relaxed underwriting’ period, an owner of a small corporation (less than 50 full-time employees) can purchase small group health insurance while employees ‘waive’ coverage without producing an eligible waiver. Normally, 70% of all full-time employees must participate in a group health insurance plan unless they have an eligible waiver such as an offer of group health insurance from a spouse’s employer or Medicare and Medicaid coverage. If you do decide to offer coverage to your full-time W2 employees during this Special Enrollment period, you do not have to insure any of your employees and instead can only insure yourself and or your family without insuring employees. Normal 70% minimum participation requirements are waived.
If you are a small business owner who is seeking to purchase small group health insurance and cannot afford to insure your employees or, your employees simply do not want to participate in a group health insurance plan. Now is the time to learn more about “relaxed underwriting period”. The cost for group health insurance is now commensurate with individual health insurance but the PPO network is much larger and far more inclusive than any of the narrow networks now available in the individual marketplace.
Want to learn more? Click “GROUP HEALTH” at the top of this page and scroll down to see the Summary of Benefits for the small group health insurance policies offered by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois. Have questions? Call us for a free consultation at (630) 582-1043 or click on “CONTACT” at the top of this page.