At around this time last year an important piece of the Affordable Care Act was ready to take effect in Minnesota – the transition of employers with 51-100 employees to the small group market instead of the large group market. This would have meant a substantial increase of people insured through the community rated small group risk pool, which would have substantially altered health insurance rates for thousands of people.
Over the past twelve months, a lot has changed. Not only did the state of Minnesota decide to delay the implementation of the transition, but it seems like they will be delaying it inevitably. In 2017, therefore, we are still planning on the small group market to extend only to employers with 50 employees, while large groups with over 50 but less than 100 employees will still be considered part of the large group market and be subject to health underwriting.
How does this affect my rates?
If you are a large employer, you will be rated based on the health of the people who are on your plan – namely, your employees and their dependents. If you have a healthy group, the delaying of your transition to the small group market means you may be paying less in premiums. If you are an unhealthy large group, the delaying of the transition means you will continue to pay more for health insurance than if you were community rated with all the healthy and unhealthy small groups in your geographic area.
Is the delaying of the transition a good thing?
Well, it means a more stable market for small groups and large groups with less than 100 employees for the foreseeable future. And in the uncertain and fluid world of health insurance benefits, stability, no matter how short-lived, is a welcome thing!
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