Lugar de Noticias Haynes and Boone
Healthcare Reform: Is It Really Advantageous to Maintain a Grandfathered Group Health Plan?
Greta E. Cowart
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (together, the "Act"), popularly known as "healthcare reform," significantly alters employer and insurer responsibilities with respect to providing group health plan coverage to employees.1 However, certain group health plans and health insurance coverage existing as of March 23, 2010 (the date of enactment) are subject only to certain provisions of the Act. These plans and health insurance coverage are referred to as "grandfathered health plans." As enacted, the Act does not provide any guidance regarding what might cause a plan to lose its grandfathered status or if there is a limit on the duration of such grandfathered status. Accordingly, as plan design changes were contemplated for open enrollment, employers were wary to make any changes to any existing group health plans for fear of losing grandfathered health plan status. It is important to remember that grandfathered status does not eliminate all of the Act’s requirements and it only delays the application of some of the Act’s requirements until grandfathered status is lost.
Reproduced with permission from Pension & Benefits Daily, 45 PBD, 07/14/2010. Copyright 2010 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (800-372-1033) http://www.bna.com
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1 Pub. L. No. 111-148.