States can improve enrollment rates by supporting Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangements (ICHRAs).
The landscape for employer-sponsored health insurance constantly changes. Annual rate increases are paving the way for ICHRA. Employers expect group health plan premiums to increase around 5% in 2022, according to an SHRM survey. Employers and employees alike are paying the price for these constant price hikes.
Companies of all sizes are looking towards ICHRA as a new group-insurance alternative.
The added benefits of ICHRAs include providing employees the freedom to select an on-exchange plan that works for them. ICHRA’s flexibility provides options for those who can’t afford traditional options or have limited choices.
Employees can select an on-exchange plan that moves with them- a benefit that brokers are loving too. Having the option to keep their current provider network while paying lower monthly premiums has many ready to make the move to ICHRA.
Easing the Transition to the ACA for Employees and Employers
States can support enrollees coming to the Exchange and help employers design and manage ICHRAs.
SBMs have the flexibility to initiate programs designed to reduce uninsured rates. States can offer a separate portal for ICHRA members to shop and enroll, like the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace. Having a designated portal for employees helps reduce confusion around moving from group insurance to the Exchange.
A separate portal would allow states to roll out decision support tools to a smaller audience before making sweeping changes. Tools like an eligibility calculator and anonymous shopping can reduce member drop-off rates.
States can further support employees by offering premium breaks. A 1332 waiver can combine state subsidies with ICHRA funds to improve affordability and portability. Advertising extra savings can help motivate employees to transition.
States can also help by providing literature that guides employees to the shopping platform or a partnered broker. Potential coverage lapses are a growing concern for states with the approach end of the Public Health Emergency (PHE) and the American Rescues Plan Act’s (ARPA) subsidies.
Now is the time for states to revamp their messaging. Detailing next steps and pointing out resources will help keep coverage lapses manageable.
States should support employers as well as employees when it comes to ICHRA. Everything starts with employers viewing ICHRA as a step up from traditional offerings. Taking a mentor role to help employers design their ICHRA pushes more to enroll.
Supporting ICHRA Helps SBMs Expand into New Markets
ICHRAs not only benefit employers and employers. States have a lot to gain by investing in an ICHRA solution. The IRS expects 800,000 businesses to adapt ICHRA by 2030, opening new markets to SBMs. Employees not happy with their current coverage – or pay way too much for it – would be much happier on the Exchange.
Supporting both employees and employers helps ensure that potential members aren’t falling through the cracks. Like reinsurance and easy enrollment programs, a separate ICHRA interface can fall under a 1332 waiver. Additionally, any improvements made to the shopping experience can be applied to a SBM’s entire enrollment base.
If you’re looking to explore an ICHRA solution for your state, let W3LL be your guide. Contact our team to learn more about how ICHRAs complement SBMs and helps them expand into new markets.
With nearly two decades in health insurance, Pete English’s diverse experience makes him uniquely qualified to help health plans and brokers leverage innovative technology in partnership with W3LL. From growing sales staff by 126% over 4 years at a large health plan, to building his own health insurance brokerage firm with over $7.2MM in annualized premium, Pete has done it all.