With health insurers expected to pay out $1.3 billion (with a “b”!) in rebates this year under the Affordable Care Act (or “Obamacare”), we’ve been getting some questions from folks asking if they can still get their rebate if they switch health insurers. Well, the answer is kind of complicated.
Under Obamacare, health insurers must spend 80 to 85 cents of every health insurance premium dollar on medical care. If health insurers don’t, they have to give the money back in the form of rebates, either by issuing rebate checks of crediting member accounts. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the rebates include $541 million in the large employer market, $377 million in the small business market, and $426 million for those buying insurance on their own.
If you buy your own health insurance, your rebate is your own. It doesn’t matter if you switch health insurers before you get your rebate; your former health insurer should still send it to you for last year.
However, if you get your health insurance through your employer, you likely won’t be receiving a health insurance rebate whatever you do. Employers don’t have to pass on the health insurance rebates to their employees, and most aren’t expected to do so.
In addition, consumers in Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Nevada and New Hampshire won’t be seeing any rebates at all since since those states received exemptions from the 80/85 percent rule from the Obama Administration. The states successfully argued that the health insurance companies would exit their states if they were forced to comply.
Do you think that you’ll be getting a health insurance rebate this year? Tell us about it in our discussion forum!
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