April 21, 2015
On Feb. 23, 2015, Superintendent of Insurance Cioppa issued Bulletin 401, which addresses the transitional renewal of group health insurance policies for groups with 51 to 100 employees. The bulletin notifies insurance carriers that they are permitted to renew health plans for employers with 51 or more employees for policy years beginning on or after Oct. 1, 2016, provided the carriers abide by the terms outlined in the bulletin. The purpose of the bulletin is to provide the option to extend the time for transitioning employers of this size to PPACA-compliant small group plans. Recall that large businesses that currently purchase insurance within the large group market (51 to 100 employees) will be redefined as small businesses and required to purchase coverage in the small group market effective Jan. 1, 2016.
The option to ease the transition for these employers was offered by the federal government in the “Bulletin on Extended Transition to Affordable Care Act Compliant Policies,” issued by CMS on March 5, 2014. Employers in Maine should be aware that the state has decided to allow for this transitional relief, as the federal government left the decision of how to proceed up to the authority of each state. Thus, an employer in Maine with between 51 and 100 employees may want to consult with its insurance carrier to determine if the carrier will also permit this relief and if so, whether the employer wishes to further extend the pre-PPACA policy that they currently have in place through 2016-2017.
Bulletin 401 » March 5 Federal Guideline »