Sellers of disability insurance and other non-medical benefits are facing Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) challenges of their own.
PPACA has had no direct effect on group disability insurance rates or packages, or on most of the supplemental health benefits that typical disability insurance writers sell.
But implementation of major PPACA provisions, including employer notice public exchange requirements and the start of the exchanges themselves, have taken benefits managers’ and human resource managers’ time.
The Obama administration has postponed PPACA-related benefits reporting rules and employer coverage mandate rules until 2015. But, because employers will need 2014 data to handle the 2015 reporting and coverage requirements, employers are gearing up to get serious about full-time equivalent tracking in just a few months.
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Barron Dorf, a senior market manager at Unum Group Corp. (NYSE:UNM), said in an interview that one major, concrete change is that many small employers are trying to avoid 2014-PPACA turmoil by renewing their coverage on Dec. 1, rather than Jan. 1.
The shift means that small groups that might normally be thinking about group disability renewals a few weeks from now are already working on plan renewals, Dorf said.
Dorf also has seen one large group disability client shift to a private exchange program and proceed as if the Obama administration had kept the original PPACA employer rules in place.