TopThings Going on Now in 2019! - From the Desk of Allison Johnson
(Posted on 11/19/19)
I don’t know how, but 2019 is almost over! It feels like just yesterday we were worried about Y2K ending the world, but here we are nearly 20 years later! It might be the dawn of a new decade, but it’s business as usual for our industry, just the regular end of the year chaos. Here are the top things you need to know to keep yourself sane during this crazy time.

Individual Open Enrollment
Everyone’s favorite time of year- 10,000 questions a day about why benefits went down and prices went up. We’re two weeks in, and the applications are rolling in. Don’t forget, we lose a couple of days this year because 12/15 is a Sunday. Applications need to be in to our office by close of business on the 13th for Martin to process, but the carrier sites and exchange will be up over the weekend. Feel free to reach out if you need a login for the carrier sites. Don’t forget to reach out to all of your existing clients and help them renew so we don’t run into any BOR issues!

Employer Open Enrollment
Ah, the Wild Wild West of health insurance. From 11/15-12/15, small groups can enroll without needing to meet participation or contribution requirements for medical. Don’t forget, they still have to be compliant, so that doesn’t help your owner-only groups or groups without an FTE. MHP doesn’t participate in the festivities, so make sure you keep sending in waivers and ID cards for those groups.

Medicare Open Enrollment
Medicare rules are changing in 2020 for the first time in a while. Make sure you are up to date on MACRA and what that means for your clients. We are here to help with applications, quotes, and Part D analysis. Open enrollment runs from 10/15-12/7, so you are halfway there!

Remember how I’ve been telling you for years that a group can’t pay for individual coverage? Well, that’s changing for 2020. Starting 1/1, a group can choose to offer an HRA that pays for individual coverage instead of group. While the group rates are cheaper, so this doesn’t fit well for most groups, it may be a good solution for those groups that just can’t get themselves compliant. There are a lot of rules, but we’ve got a handle on them, and we’re happy to go through it with you if your groups have questions.

It’s the time of year when everyone is sick, but also crazy busy, and no one has time to wait at their doctor’s office for 3 hours. Have no fear, telemedicine is here to help! Almost every carrier has partnered with a telemed vendor to bring quick, convenient care to their members. You can call in, get the medicine sent to your local pharmacy, and pick it up on lunch or on the way home. It’s a great way to save time and money for both the employee and employer.

Voluntary Benefits
As rates continue to rise and benefits fall, voluntary plans are a great way to add value to benefit packages without additional responsibility on the employer. From vision to life, there are a ton of great options out there! January is a great time to talk about these with employers, since most groups are renewing and trying to figure out the best way to serve their employees.

For more information, don't hesistate to reach out to Allison Johnson or