With the yearly health insurance Open Enrollment period fast approaching, now is the ideal time to set up your group’s Private Exchange to provide members who are ineligible for a Health and Welfare plan with access to major medical healthcare insurance. Many early retirees face a loss of healthcare coverage when they enter retirement before the traditional age of 65. A private exchange gives additional support to these members as they make choices about health insurance carriers, plans and costs of benefits.
This year’s Open Enrollment runs from November 1 to January 31. This is the only time individuals who are not in a group plan may enroll in an Affordable Care Act-compliant health insurance plan, unless they qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
Before reaching the Medicare-eligible age of 65, most early retirees exiting from a Taft-Hartley health and welfare plan or other multiemployer plan will seek to replace coverage with individual or family healthcare coverage. For some union members who have always been covered by their union fund’s plan, this may be their first time selecting a healthcare plan.
For those qualifying for a government tax credit subsidy that offsets their premium cost (available to those making up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level), early retirees must obtain coverage from the state’s designated public health insurance exchange or the federally-facilitated Marketplace. If early retirees receive a financial contribution from the fund’s health and welfare plan or employer, they are not eligible for a federal subsidy. These members can obtain coverage from the public exchanges or from private market “off-exchange” health insurance carriers. The Private Exchange offered by The Union Labor Life Insurance Company seamlessly accesses all major medical plans from all the public exchanges and also offers off-exchange major medical plans.
A worker’s retirement may also affect their family’s healthcare coverage options. If the health and welfare plan or employer plan was covering the member’s spouse and dependents, they too may need to replace their healthcare insurance plan. If all members of the family are under 65, they can obtain a family health insurance plan. When either the member or the spouse qualifies for Medicare, the other family members must obtain their own non-Medicare coverage. Ullico’s Private Exchange can serve not only the member’s but also their families’ coverage needs.
With a Private Exchange offered by The Union Labor Life Insurance Company and the worker’s union, early retirees and their families get the additional decision-making support to secure ACA-compliant health plans. Licensed agents, who are also navigators for the public exchanges, will help identify which healthcare plans best fit a member’s needs and budget. Online tools are readily available to compare plan features, deductibles, co-pays and provider networks.
Losing group coverage is difficult. Agent-supported guidance and robust plan comparison tools ease the process of choosing affordable healthcare coverage. Our Private Exchange minimizes disruptions in coverage for your members and their families. Before the open enrollment period, ensure your members, including early retirees, have the healthcare options they need.