Obamacare allows no rate consideration for health conditions on fully-insured small group plans. Rates are the same whether a group is very healthy or very sick. Healthier groups must subsidize the cost for sicker groups. Since groups are not underwritten, the business owner usually has no way of knowing if the cost includes a subsidy for sicker groups.

Self-insured small group health plans are allowed to underwrite and set rates for each group based on the health of the group. By going through this underwriting process, a small business owner can see the price based on the health of the employees. Once the rates for a self-insured plan are determined, the business owner can make a decision of what is best.

Very few plans a totally self-funded, so when EBA refers to the self-funded it important to realize these plans are partially self-funded.

  1. Lower Costs – Savings may result from underwriting, fewer mandates, greater flexibility in plan design, tax savings, and a refund of claims funds. The savings can be significant.
  2. Tax Savings – Self-funded plans save on state insurance taxes and ACA taxes. State insurance tax is paid only on the stop loss insurance portion of the cost. This is typically less than one half the total plan cost and results in a typical savings of one half or more of the state premium tax.
  3. Money Back from Claims Fund – In years that claims are less than funded for, the money left over in the claims fund belongs to the employer.
  4. Monthly Claims Report – The employer receives monthly claims reports showing where dollars are being spent. This information can be used by the employer and advisor to design a plan that works best for the specific business.
  5. Not Subject to State Mandates – Carriers selling fully insured plans must spend large amounts of resources just to comply with the different state mandates. With a self-funded plan, the employer selects benefits that work best for the employees.
  6. Underwriting Based for Type of Business, Age, Sex, Health and Lifestyle – With a fully-funded plan, the healthier and younger groups must subsidize the cost for older and less health groups. The underwriting process used for self-funded plans allows you to be charged the correct amount for your group, rather than being included in a community rated traditional plan. This can result in significant savings.
  7. More Latitude in Plan Design – With self-funded plan an employer is allowed to select the benefit that works best for that specific business. Deductibles, co-insurance, co-pays, prescription benefits and other options allow for a custom design.