Individual Coverage (ICHRA)
The Covid-19 economy is a catalyst for employers to explore new solutions to improve the affordability of health insurance. Group health insurance is the standard choice for employee health benefits, but it doesn’t work for everyone. For many employers, in addition to group health insurance requiring ever increasing budget dollars, its one-size-fits-all approach falls far short of meeting the needs of employees. LukeJackson is at the forefront of working with Massachusetts employers to introduce the individual coverage HRA (ICHRA) benefit as an alternative to group health benefits.
What Is ICHRA?
ICHRAs allow employers of all sizes to provide tax-advantaged monies to employees to pay for individual health insurance. ICHRAs are not a silver bullet, however, for Massachusetts employers it opens a door for employees to choose from an expansive marketplace of individual health plans that quality gurus JD Power Associates and NCQA consider to be among the best in America.
Employers have great flexibility in designing an ICHRA benefit and may craft eligibility across eleven different employee classes and use employee age and family size as factors in determining ICHRA contributions. This allows employers to manage their benefit budgets more efficiently while offering generous healthcare options to their employees.
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Individual health insurance plans filed with the Massachusetts DOI meet heavily regulated and robust ACA Qualified Health Plan and state of Massachusetts Minimum Creditable Coverage standards. Employees decide which of these highly rated health insurance plans offers the best coverage and value based on their needs.
Is ICHRA a Good Fit for Your Organization?
We help each employer assess their group health plan and the potential advantages of transitioning to an ICHRA funded individual health insurance program using cost and quality metrics to inform their decisions. Our established, rigorous processes for affordability determinations and expense forecasting will help employers determine if an ICHRA benefit is right for their organization.
Benefits for Employees
· Cost Control – Employees decide which health plan offers them the best level of coverage and premium
· Flexibility – Employees are not subject to the one size fits all group purchasing model and have more personalized plan choices based on their needs
· Peace of Mind – Employees have access to health insurance from among the most trusted and recognized health plans in the country
Benefits for Employers
· Improved Efficiencies – Removes the time and resource requirements of selecting a group health plan
· Affordability – Employer sets an employee health insurance budget and has flexibility to allocate budget dollars across 11 different employee classifications
· Attraction and Retention – Ability to offer robust healthcare benefits to attract and retain talent
What Our Clients Are Saying
The results from early adopters have been remarkable – employers significantly improved the affordability of high-quality health insurance, collectively releasing hundreds of thousands of dollars from group health plans back to employee paychecks and to their bottom line.
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“We offer employees excellent benefits and couldn’t continue to increase deductibles to moderate sharply rising group health insurance costs,“ said Tony Assaf, Chief Financial Officer of Comfort Home Care. “We needed a financially attractive, flexible health insurance solution that met the diverse needs of our workforce. Transitioning to an ICHRA benefit gave our employees access to nearly 100 high quality individual health plans from major insurers. Together with our employees, and the support of LukeJackson, we reduced year-over-year health insurance costs by 35 percent with most of the savings going back into employee paychecks. Their reaction was overwhelmingly positive.”
The expense of health insurance is an incredible motivator. The employees we have spoken with were highly engaged in shopping for health insurance. They proactively compared insurance premium and benefit levels, researched their doctor’s participation in health plan networks, and examined past and planned future use of healthcare to inform their health insurance purchasing decisions. Many employees chose to buy high value network plans with rich levels of benefit and readily changed doctors for significant savings. The health plans that employees purchased were insured by Tufts, Allways Health Partners, HPHC, Fallon, Health New England, Anthem and BCBSMA.