AR State Updates - 2015 Jan 02 No.01

On Feb. 18, 2015, Gov. Hutchinson signed HB 1161 into law, creating Act 101. Under this law, concierge health plans or arrangements are no longer considered health insurance under the insurance code or the HMO subchapter, which means that they are not subject to the jurisdiction of the Arkansas Insurance Department. For this purpose, a ‘concierge service arrangement’ is defined as a contractual agreement between a licensed health care provider and an individual to provide select medical services under a medical arrangement for an established fee. The Act requires the concierge plan to provide the following notice to concierge contract holders clarifying that the plan may not constitute the minimum essential health benefits individuals must maintain in order to avoid PPACA’s individual mandate penalty:

Notice: A concierge service arrangement is not an insurance policy, and the select medical services as specified under a concierge service arrangement may not constitute the minimum essential health benefits under federal healthcare laws established by Pub. L. No. 111-148, as amended by Pub. L. No. 111-152, and any amendments to, or regulations or guidance issued under, those statutes existing on January 1, 2015. Medical services provided under a concierge service arrangement may not be covered by or coordinated with your health insurance and you may be responsible for any payment for medical services not covered by health insurance under your insurer's statement of benefits policy.

Typically such concierge service arrangements have been considered on par with insurance because they are payable whether or not medical care is provided. Thus, they fall under the general “no reimbursement of insurance premiums” rule that applies to health FSAs and HSAs and should not be reimbursed on a pre-tax basis. It is unclear whether this new law in Arkansas will permit employees to pay for such coverage on a pre-tax basis. Further guidance would be welcome. The law is effective July 22, 2015.

Act 101 »