Small Businesses May Be Able to Keep Existing Health Coverage Through Calendar Year 2018


A previously extended transitional policy which allows health insurance issuers, at their option, to continue group coverage that would otherwise be terminated or cancelled has been extended further—to policy years beginning on or before October 1, 2018, provided that all policies end by December 31, 2018. Health insurance issuers that renew coverage under the extended policy are required to provide standard notices to affected small businesses for each policy year. Extended Transitional Policy At the option of the states, issuers that have renewed policies under the transitional policy continually since 2014 may be permitted to renew such coverage for a policy year starting on or before October 1, 2018, so long as any policies renewed do not extend past December 31, 2018.

The Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) intends to work with issuers and states to implement this extended transitional policy, including options such as allowing policy years that are shorter than 12 months or early renewals with a January 1, 2018 start date. Policies subject to the transitional relief will not be considered to be out of compliance with some of the Affordable Care Act’s key provisions that were originally scheduled to take effect in 2014, including:

  • The requirement to cover a core package of items and services known as essential health benefits;
  • The requirement that any variations in premiums be limited with regard to a particular plan or coverage to age and tobacco use, family size, and geography;
  • The requirements regarding guaranteed availability and renew-ability of coverage for employers; and
  • The requirements relating to coverage for individuals participating in approved clinical trials.

For more information please contact your Total Benefit Solutions account manager at (215)355-2121.