The Florida Bar will launch a private health insurance exchange October 1 designed to assist individual members and employer groups in securing health insurance coverage, as part of the Bar’s Member Benefits package.
Member Benefits, Inc., the administrator of The Florida Bar Member Insurance Programs, recently introduced key enhancements to its existing health insurance program.
Decision support tools and live customer support will be available to help Florida lawyers determine their best course of action.
“The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has created complex changes in the health insurance market for attorneys,” said Carlton “Duke” Fagan, who serves on the Bar’s Member Benefits Committee.
“The Florida Bar is fortunate to have the services of the provider firm Member Benefits, Inc. Shortly after the passage of the federal act, Member Benefits had the foresight to analyze this complex law and custom design a private health exchange that will offer Florida attorneys more choices and lower costs within the law than any other option that the committee has seen.”
Member Benefits, Inc., staff will initially assist members and their staffs in estimating whether they qualify for a premium tax credit through the federal government. Afterwards, the individuals are directed to the least costly source to purchase a health plan. If directed to the private exchange, individuals create an online account and shop for benefits for themselves and their families, choosing from a wide variety of health plans that compete for enrollment within the exchange. Decision support tools guide consumers to the best health plan for their needs. Members can also purchase dental, vision, life, and disability insurance at special pricing.
Employers can create an account on the exchange, set a budget, and provide employees with a fixed amount of money (a “defined contribution”), Fagan explained. Employees use the contribution to purchase the coverage and options of their choosing. If employees choose plans or mixes of benefits that cost more than the employer-defined contribution provided, they pay the difference.
A series of webinars will be available soon to introduce the exchange and educate lawyers on how to participate. Members may call (800) 282-8626 to learn more or register for an upcoming complimentary webinar online at www.memberbenefits.com/floridabar.