Health Insurance – Group vs Individual 2017

For the first time in my health insurance career, group rates in CT are less than their individual market counterparts. Our firm spent a large part of this past open enrollment pulling self-employed clients with at least one employee out of the individual market, and setting them up with a group health plan. Most clients are unaware that they can have a group as low as 2 members, and what sets my agency apart is that I am willing to write these groups to put them in vastly improved situation on several levels. Not only is the rate lower, but the group plans retain nationwide in-network coverage. Neither Connecticare, nor Anthem offer in network coverage outside of CT on their individual market plans. In fact, Anthem’s individual high deductible plan features an non-network deductible for all services outside of Connecticut of $23,000. Absurd. Further, implementing group coverage puts the client in a much better tax position, as the company can write down all of the premium and medical expenditures against the company income. This is not the case in the individual market. Lastly, this strategy is much more stable, as group health insurance is somewhat shielded from the impacts of ACA, or whatever will come of another legislative effort in this regard. The individual market volatility will continue with or without replacement legislation, and as long as the pre-existing condition clause is retained in a new bill, then individual rates will always be higher than group rates.