There is no doubt that the next year is going to bring a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the Affordable Care Act. Fortunately, at AUI we have a solution! Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements (MEWA) are enabling small businesses to avoid the costly rating structure and the current uncertainty of ACA.
A MEWA allows a group of small businesses to come together and create a large self-insured plan. MEWAs avoid the structure of the ACA because they are governed by ERISA which was around long before the word Obamacare became a household name. Some MEWAs are homogenous such as the Ohio State Medical Association and Ohio Farm Bureau while others are driven by a chamber of commerce such as the COSE Health and Welfare Trust and the SOCA Benefits Plan which allow a more diverse membership.
The MEWA is medically underwritten which means that each of the member companies goes through the underwriting process individually and is rated based on the health conditions in the group. This allows the group to avoid the community rating structure in ACA that only allows for general demographics to dictate universal cost. As a result, some organizations have seen a decrease in premiums by over 30%.
Plans in a MEWA also avoid the metal level tiering in ACA which allows for stability in plan design. In addition, lower cost premiums may allow for groups choose a richer plan with a lower deductible and lower out-of-pocket costs. Competition amongst the MEWAs is also helping to regulate insurance premiums in Ohio.
AUI is one of only a few agencies in Ohio that offers access to many of these MEWAs. If you are interested in learning more about how these plans may benefit your organization, please contact us.