Washington Counties Insurance Fund
Joining a Multi-Employer Health Plan – What to ConsiderPresented by Jon Kaino, Executive Director, WCIF
The Washington Counties Insurance Fund (WCIF) was established in 1958 by the Washington State Association of Counties.WCIF provides coverage for over 100 participating employer groups and 15,000 member employees plus their dependents, as well as providing coverage for our members’ retirees and COBRA participants.
What is a Multi-Employer Health Plan?
Association Health Plan (AHP)Group of employers joining together to provide employee health & welfare benefitsHealth Care Reform mandates Multi-Employer plans to meet specific requirements to maintain rating status
Impact of Health Care Reform on Multi-Employer Health Plans
Criteria to be considered a “True Employer Health & Welfare Benefit Plan aka “bonafide” planDetermination made by OIC, DOL, and HHSBonafideplans maintain large group rating and plan design flexibilityWCIF determined to bebonafideby the OIC
Benefits of Multi-Employer Plans - Rates
Purchasing power of a larger groupGreater rate stability of a larger groupLarge claims have less impact on premiums
Benefits of Multi-Employer Plans - Flexibility
Self-governance provides for member input and decision making authorityPlans designed to fit membershipParticipating employers and their employees have more plan choicesAll benefits available – one stop shop for medical, dental, vision, life, disability and EAP
Benefits of Multi-Employer Plans - Administration
Combined billing, online eligibility and enrollmentFree training for employer HR/payroll staffCompliance information and direction (PPACA, HIPAA, etc.)On-site open enrollment for employeesCOBRA and Retiree plan administrationService and advocacyWellness administrationReduced staff workload
Potential Drawbacks to Joining a Multi-Employer Plan
Employer demographic may not be conducive to some plansPublic demographic is generally older (recession impacts)Withdrawal notice requirements can be rigid
Multi-Employer Health plans provide many services and product choices that may not be available on individual employer plans.They also provide a degree of purchasing power and rate stability not available to many small to medium size employers.May not always be the lowest rate, but could be the best long term value.The size, demographic, health and location of your group are all determining factors in deciding if a Multi-Employer Plan is right for your group.
Thank you for your time
For more information, pleasecontact the WCIF office at:800.344.8570or visit us online at:www.wcif.net