Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd. says it will provide annual medical stop-loss benefit limits up to $10 million to cope with the new Affordable Care Act (ACA) coverage rules.

Employers that self-fund their health plans, rather than relying on insurance to cover all insured losses, use stop-loss policies to limit the amount of claims risk they assume.

ACA — the legislative package that includes the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) – will ban lifetime health plan benefits limits in plan years starting in 2011, restrict use of annual limits starting in plan years starting in 2011, and ban use of annual limits in plan years starting in 2014.

The Overland Park, Kan.-based medical expense group at Swiss Re, Zurich, says it will stay in the stop-loss market, comply with the ACA rules, and increase the annual benefit limit to $10 million.

Swiss Re is looking into the possibility of offering annual limits higher than $10 million before 2014, the company says.

In related news, Swiss Re says it is changing stop-loss programs, and reinsurance programs for health insurers, to comply with a number of other ACA provisions.

Swiss Re will be letting dependent children stay on an enrolled worker’s coverage up to age 26, and it will be providing coverage for people with pre-existing conditions based on the new ACA rules, the company says.

The changes will take effect for plans that begin or renew after Sept. 23, the company says.

The Swiss Re medical expense group includes Westport Insurance Corp. and North America Specialty Insurance Company.

-ab