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Nonprofit HR’s Blog

By Julie Gallion, PHR, Senior HR Consultant, Benefits Practice Leader

DC Health Link and the associated Federal Exchange, Health Insurance Marketplace, has announced that the calculating system for premium subsidies for income- and family size-dependent health coverage through the Washington, DC Health Insurance Exchange is not working correctly.

DC Health Link and the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace expect to open for business on October 1, 2013, however it is not yet known what information will be available on that date with regards to premium rates. Individuals may need to wait as long as a month to find out how much insurance will cost in 2014.

As part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) also known as the ACA and Obamacare, each state is required to create a web-based platform for individuals and small businesses to search for health insurance.  The platforms, called Health Insurance Exchanges (though each state may name their exchange something different), are designed to make transparent health insurance plan features and premiums. This will enable individuals and small business to freely search for health insurance, just as if they were shopping for shoes. This system is due to open in each state next Tuesday, October 1, 2013.

Individuals who purchase insurance on the Exchange may qualify for premium subsidies depending on their family income and family size.

In Washington, DC, all individuals and small business will eventually shop for health insurance through the DC Health Link.

Very small businesses (too small for a group plan) who are looking to help employees purchase insurance in January have been anticipating the opening of the Exchange for several months now, some have put their benefit decisions on hold awaiting the much anticipated October 1 Exchange opening date.  This premium calculation error may continue to delay these decisions.

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