Health Care Reform

Q&A on Health Care Reform

With the opening of the Marketplace in October, we have developed this Q&A on how Health Care Reform may affect W&L employees. We will add additional questions as they arise.

Q: I'm a full-time employee with university insurance, should I visit the Marketplace at https://www.healthcare.gov/ for a better deal?

A: You can certainly explore your alternatives on the Marketplace. You will want to compare the University's plan vs. the plans available to you and your cost under each. Remember that your share of the University's coverage is paid with pre-tax dollars, which is not the case for the Exchange plans.

Q: If I find a plan through the Marketplace that I'd rather have than continue on the university's health insurance, can I switch January 1?

A: Certainly. The opening of the Marketplace allows you to cancel the university's coverage effective 12/31/2013. You will need to notify the Human Resources office by 1/31/2014. Your University coverage will be cancelled the first of month following the date you notify Human Resources.

Q: I'm a full-time employee but I don't currently have the university's health insurance. Can I enroll in January rather than use the Marketplace?

A: No. Unless you experience a qualifying life event as defined by the IRS and found on page 2 of the 2013-2014 Benefits Guidebook, you can only apply during open enrollment in the spring for a July 1 effective date. You will need to review the plans offered through the Marketplace and make an election by January 1 to avoid an IRS penalty when you file your 2014 tax return. Then, if you want, you can choose to enroll in the University's plan during open enrollment and cancel the coverage you selected through the Marketplace for the first part of 2014.

Q: The University subsidizes my health insurance now; will there be any changes to that calculation?

A: At this time, the University will not be making any adjustments to this calculation. We will continue to evaluate this subsidy in future years to ensure that our employees have access to affordable coverage.

Q: If I leave employment, what options will I have for healthcare?

A: You will continue to have the same options. You will be offered the opportunity to continue the University's group health plan for a specified number of months as determined by the law, COBRA. In doing so, you pay the total premium plus 2%. Or, like before, you can purchase an individual policy--but you now have the use of the Marketplace for comparing plans and rates.

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