Last week’s announcement the federal government is encouraging states to adopt a transitional rule which would allow insurance carriers to extend individual health insurance plans, which would otherwise be discontinued, into 2014, was only half the story. Only hours after the announcement the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released additional clarification on this announcement, advising that small groups are also included in the extension into 2014. By allowing members to remain in their current plans through 2014, they will have additional time to ascertain if they qualify for a subsidy and to find new plans for 2015 that meet the ACA requirements. Under the transitional policy, small group health insurance that is renewed for a policy year starting between January 1, 2014 and October 1, 2014 will not be considered to be out of compliance with certain key Affordable Care Act market reforms (originally scheduled to take effect for plan years starting on or after January 1, 2014), if certain conditions are satisfied. Requirements include:

  • Covering essential health benefits
  • Variations in premiums be limited to age, tobacco use, family size, and geography;
  • Elimination of preexisting condition exclusions;

Where does each state stand? You can follow here.