Employees of Bibb County (GA) schools got an early peek at their new benefit plan for 2014.
Through the end of this year employees had a choice between several plans administered by UHC or Cigna. They could pick an HMO or PPO. Copay or high deductible HSA or high deductible HRA.
That was then. This is now.
The Georgia Blue's got tired of sitting on the sideline and made a winner take all offer to the SHBP (State Health Benefit Plan) administrator.
Blue won the contract. Cigna and UHC are gone.
Say bye-bye to copay plans and freedom of choice. Employees can pick from one of three plans and their choice is Blue or Blue.
No more copay plans.
They are calling the new design a PPO with an HRA wrap.
Last year the state provided this comparison between the 2012 and 2013 plans. The plans were not bad and not good. Most employees preferred the HMO because of the doc copay's.
2014 is a new year and copay's are last years news. The new PPO Wrap looks like this.
As you can guess, most of the employees are not happy.
Where are the copay's? Gone . . . .
They can't do this to us! Yes they can . . .
I want my Obamacare plan. This IS your Obamacare plan . . .
For some reason I am reminded of that scene from Private Benjamin.
Pvt Benjamin - "I think they sent me to the wrong place. I did join the army, but it was a different army. I joined the one with the condo's and private rooms."
No doubt, many Pvt. Benjamin's will be checking out the exchange offerings when it opens in a few weeks. Some may even sign up, expecting to get a subsidy . . . or a condo with a private room.
A subsidy that will never happen.
The law says if you have an "affordable" health insurance plan through your employer, you can still buy from the exchange but you are not eligible for subsidies.
How is affordable defined?
Glad you asked. If the employee premium is less than 9.5% of the employee's W-2 gross income the plan is deemed affordable.
If the employer plan meets that criteria, neither the employee or their dependents will qualify for an Obamacare subsidy.
Elections have consequences.