Let’s face it—the Indiana individual health insurance market is a mess. With two of the largest health insurance providers in our state, United and Anthem, no longer participating in the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges, people are left with no good options for personal coverage. Coupled with a tight labor market, employers are facing losing their best employees to firms that offer group health insurance. Fortunately, as a contractor member in good standing with BAGI, you have options available to help you protect and retain your workers.
As an association, BAGI is able to offer a group health insurance program that avoids the restrictions of the ACA. The program uses the pooling concept to provide cost-effective coverage by spreading employee health risks over the total membership rather than company by company. This model means less rate volatility and a potentially better rate structure than purchasing your own plan. Your employees can choose from 12 different plans, from benefit-rich and low out-of-pocket options, all the way up to plans with the maximum-allowed federal out-of-pocket limits. With BAGI’s program, you and your employees get affordability, quality and choice in their health insurance coverage.
Over the past few years, many small employers have recognized the need to have group health insurance but have been reticent to adopt their own programs. Many took the option of grossing up wages to assist employees with purchasing their own coverage on the ACA exchanges. Unfortunately, the current state of the ACA in Indiana means this course of action is impractical. Workers now only have access to short-term major medical coverage, which is not a viable option for the long-term, or a CareSource plan, which offers coverage through an 800 number and is headquartered out of state. Their final alternative is to go without health insurance, which could lead to debilitating payments or even bankruptcy if someone gets sick. No wonder employees are placing access to group health insurance at the top of their list of requirements for where they work.
As long as you have 2 or more full-time employees, you may be eligible to join the BAGI group health insurance program. Member Scott Wharton of Wharton Insurance and Financial Services is the administrator of the program. For more information about how your company could offer your employees the health benefits they are looking for, send Scott an email or give him a call at 317.663.4138 .