Move over grandpa, here’s comes grandma! As if you weren’t confused enough about the Affordable Care Act (ACA), you now have a new term to add to your vocabulary – “grandmothered plans.” But what is a grandmothered plan, and if you have one of these plans, what does it mean?
What is a Grandmothered Plan?
If you had a health plan in place prior to passage of the ACA on March 23, 2010, your plan is considered a grandfathered plan – meaning you could keep your current plan instead of needing to switch to a new ACA qualified plan (if your state and insurance carrier allowed it). In most cases, that meant lower premiums!
After millions of plans were cancelled at the end of 2013, the Obama administration made a last-minute decision to allow insurers to renew certain non-ACA policies that were not grandfathered, if they were in place on October 1, 2013. These plans are now referred to as “grandmothered plans .”
This decision to allow grandmothered plans to renew was left to each state insurance commissioner. If it was approved by the state, each insurance carrier would then have to decide whether to renew grandmothered plans or not. Some carriers are allowing renewals until 2015 and others until 2016.
Can I Renew My Grandmothered Plan?
If you have a grandmothered plan, you should receive information from your insurance carrier in the next few months stating whether you can keep your plan or if it’s being terminated. If you’re already a client of HSA for America, we’ll also contact you by email or direct mail if your policy is one of the plans scheduled to terminate.
Grandfathered and grandmothered plans tend to carry lower premiums, so I usually recommend that you keep your plan as long as you can; however, these plans do not qualify for premium assistance. So if you believe you qualify for help paying for your health insurance premiums, you may be best served going with a new ACA plan. You also would want to consider changing to a new plan if your current plan has a waiver or exclusion on a pre-existing health condition.
If you do qualify for premium assistance, you can likely find an ACA plan with premiums hundreds of dollars less than what you’re currently paying. Our advisors have helped many families that qualify for premium assistance reduce their premiums to under $100 per month.
Our HSA for America Personal Advisors are available to assist you with any questions you may have about your current health plan – call 866-749-2039.
Are you unsure if you have a grandmothered plan? What are your thoughts on keeping your plan?
Wiley Long is President of HSA for America, and a passionate advocate for consumer-based solutions that will improve price transparency and lower health insurance and medical costs for people purchasing individual and family health insurance plans.