Tuesday’s Tidbits

Congratulations go out to FEHB Plan carrier GEHA (Government Employees Health Association) because the Department of Health and Human Services awarded GEHA which was awarded the third party administrator contract “for the 22 states that have requested that the federal government run their Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan.”  An HHS website explains that

Section 1101 of the {Affordable Care Act] establishes a “temporary high risk health insurance pool program” to provide health insurance coverage to currently uninsured individuals with pre-existing conditions.  This program will be known as the “Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan.”

The new Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) is a transitional program to make health coverage available to those who have a pre-existing condition and who have gone without coverage for at least six months.

The Government starts taking enrollment applications on July 1 and coverage will become available on
August 1.

Another Affordable Care Act Program — the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program — will begin to accept claims tomorrow. The Government’s website explains that

  • Employers with self-funded and insured plans can apply, including private companies, state and local governments, nonprofits, religious organizations, unions operating employee benefit plans, and other employers.
  • Applications are now available online at www.hhs.gov/ociio along with extensive application assistance materials and information on where to send the applications. Applicants are being accepted as of June 29.
  • To participate in the program, employers must have their applications approved, be able to document claims, and implement programs and procedures that have or have the potential to generate cost savings for participants with chronic and high-cost conditions.

FEHB plans, however, are not eligible to participate in this Program. Business Insurance reports that “the Employee Benefit Research Institute projected that the $5 billion would run out sometime next year, long before the program expires at the end of 2013.”

OPM reports that its Retirement Operations Center in Boyers PA is celebrating its 50th anniversary.   This jogged my memory that our beloved Federal Employees Health Benefits Programs became effective on July 1. 1960. More to follow on Thursday.