Your group is young and healthy. So why the headache finding affordable health coverage for your team? Accessing reasonably priced, compliant health coverage is a big concern and a frustrating endeavor for many small life science companies. And it can be especially frustrating considering your generally young, healthy group doesn’t qualify for low rates under the Affordable Care Act.
While larger companies receive preferred industry and demographic discounts, employers with 1-100 employees (an increase from the original 1-50 employee count as of January 1, 2016) are stuck with age-based rates, which are determined by the employer’s location. Life science companies are caught in a Catch 22—they are in the right industry and have great demographics, but are too small to reap the benefits.
This legislation leaves many life science businesses and individuals out in the cold when it comes to getting reasonably priced coverage.
While navigating the Affordable Care Act can feel like swimming in the dark sometimes, there is a bright spot for life science companies. The Department of Labor (DOL) has created the opportunity for the formation of small business trusts. These DOL-qualified trusts pool small companies together and under this structure, employers qualify for large group rates, regardless of their size. In response to these challenges, Marsh & McLennan Agency created the Beyond Benefits trust, a DOL-qualified health benefits solution for the California life science industry. Four years into the trust, Beyond Benefits saves its members $5.8 million in annual medical premium. It has proven to be a lifesaver for the participants’ human resources departments as well. Some of the advantages reported include:
- Simplified plans. Online enrollment is easy for employers and their employees.