Recent Changes to Illinois SHOP and What It Means for Your Small Business
Breaking news! Illinois SHOP is losing BCBS
Well, this was breaking news last August. But, if you’re like every other small business owner I know, you’re hyper-focused on building your business and you probably missed this important announcement. Or maybe you heard the announcement, but didn’t realize that it applied to you. No worries -- I’ll fill you in now.
While this was announced in September 2017, I regularly speak with business owners who have their employer-sponsored medical coverage through Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP). Though they have their medical coverage through SHOP, these business owners are not aware that they will not be allowed to renew their SHOP coverage with Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS). While BCBS formally made this announcement last fall, they are not providing specific notification letters to each group until they are up for renewal.
So, what does this mean for you? This means that if your plan renews in the latter part of the year, you may not be aware that this letter is forthcoming. This letter is expected to come 90 days ahead of your renewal, but since you’re reading this blog, you’ll know exactly what to do when that day comes.
If you don’t want to wait until your renewal to react and prepare for the coming changes, you’re in luck. If you are currently on SHOP as a small business employer, you can apply for coverage directly with BCBS (or any other carrier) at any time during the calendar year.
But what happens to my deductible?
The question I’m most frequently asked is, “But what happens to my already met deductible?” Well, because of deductible crediting, any money currently spent on the first employer group plan will count towards your new employer group plan. This is helpful because it allows you to avoid the fear of having to meet the deductible twice in the same calendar year. It’s important to note that the deductible only applies when moving from one group to another; If you’re moving to or from an individual plan, the deductible credit will not apply.
Remember to be aware! Don’t wait until the last week to make the change. Every insurance advisor will explain that it takes time to put together a solid strategy, even for a small five-person group. By leaving this for the last minute, you will only hurt yourself and your employees.
If you need help or have questions about this change, contact a member of the ‘A’ Team. We’re always here to help!
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