Thursday, May 16, 2013

'If you like your plan you can keep it.' Or at least 27% of you can

During the early days of PPACA's passage and promotion President Obama repeatedly said "If you like your plan, you can keep it."  Here is a clip of him saying so (video clip).     
Sounds great.  But the problem is that it is not true.  

It would be more accurate to say, if you like your plan you can keep it provided that:   
  • You can still afford it; 
  • Your employer can still afford it; and 
  • Your insurance carrier doesn't make changes to add benefits mandated by PPACA.  
Those are three big ifs.  And now we have this from Jerry Geisel writing at Modern Healthcare:  
The percentage of employers with grandfathered health care plans continues to dwindle, according to a survey released Thursday.

Just 27.3% of employers responding to an International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans survey said their primary healthcare plan has grandfathered status this year, down from 34.3% last year and 44.6% in 2011.

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, grandfathered plans are exempt from certain requirements, such as providing full coverage of preventive services.

But to maintain grandfathered status, a health plan can’t increase coinsurance requirements or boost the percentage of the premium paid by enrollees by more than 5 percentage points, among other requirements.

Because such health plans can make only limited cost-sharing changes, “maintaining grandfathered status can be a challenge for employers,” according to the survey.

And grandfathered plans will continue to decline, according to the foundation. Some 2.5% of respondents said they expect their primary health care plan to lose grandfathered status this year, while 31.3% said they expect their primary plan to lose grandfathered status in 2014.  
The survey is based on responses from 966 benefits professionals.