Whether your group doesn’t offer a health plan for employees or you’re considering dropping your group plan and letting your employees migrate to the new health insurance exchange established by the ACA, your employees will appreciate some assistance with enrollment. States are setting up In-Person Assistance programs to help individuals and families enroll in the new health plans to become eligible for the premium assistance.
Employee enrollment with In-Person Assistance
In California, Certified Enrollment Entities (CEE) are now being established that will have numerous In-Person Assisters or Certified Enrollment Counselors (CEC). Some of the CEEs will have the necessary resources to visit your work place with CECs to help employees enroll in one of the individual and family health plans offered through Covered California.
Certified Enrollment Counselors
There will be no charge for this enrollment assistance. The CEEs will be compensated $58 for each household enrollment into a health plan upon activation of the enrollment in January 2014. CECs are not licensed insurance agents and can’t make recommendations about which plan might be best for the employee. A variety of organizations are eligible to become CEEs including Chamber of Commerce, Trade Organizations, Unions, schools districts and health clinics.
Agents can help enroll employees
In the absence of a CEE available to help facilitate employee enrollment into the ACA plans, local health insurance agents should be able, if they are willing, help provide enrollment assistance. I will be available to small businesses and nonprofits in the Northern California region to help employees enroll in Covered California plans.
Special discounts or premium assistance for employees and family
The In-Person Assistance Program with the CECs are only for individual and family plans offered through Covered California. These health plans are eligible for the tax credit or premium discount if the household income is below 400% of the federal poverty line. If your workforce is comprised of moderate to low wage and salary employees, they might really be able to benefit from the premium assistance offered through Covered California.
Small groups plans from Covered California
The In-Person Assistance Program can’t help you if your small group, business or nonprofit of less than 50 employees, chooses to enroll in one of the group plans offered through SHOP of Covered California. Only licensed insurance agents are allowed to help small groups migrate to a SHOP or create a new group plan in SHOP (Small Business Health Options Program). The agent will then be available to help you employees enroll in the new plan on line through the CalHEERS website.