Limited medical plans have been a key part of the health insurance industry for nearly two decades. They have provided working class Americans with valuable benefits at an affordable price. But, as a result of health care reform and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), some “experts” are predicting the death of the limited medical industry. Case in point: Some carriers are already pulling these products from their lineup and planning to terminate new business after September 2010. The landscape has definitely changed, and the future of limited medical plans is uncertain.
The reality is that we really don’t know what’s going to happen, and it will likely take months (if not years) for a clearer picture to develop. And while it’s critically important for agents to communicate their opinions on health care reform to their elected officials, it’s also important for them to keep in mind that there is a great deal of time to assist clients by recommending and implementing limited medical plans between now and Dec. 31, 2013, after which point group health plans will be forbidden from having restricted annual limits on essential health benefits.
In advance of the impending legislation, agents can make themselves look like heroes by placing their clients in a limited medical product with stable rates and administrative requirements that allows HR staff and company executives to focus on the myriad changes they will be forced to make in the face of reform. As employers and brokers learn new rules and try to figure out where the employee benefits market is headed, offering a limited medical solution that will make this transition easier on them will be crucial to your success as an agent.