Peak Health Alliance unveils new group insurance options for 2022
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct the enrollment dates.
The end of the year is approaching, and for Summit County employers, that means it’s time to start thinking about what type of insurance options are the best fit for their employees.
Peak Health Alliance unveiled its group health insurance options for 2022 during a webinar hosted by the Summit Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, Oct. 19, hoping to inform local companies enrolled with the alliance about what coverage plans they’ll be able to offer their workers next year.
Peak Health Alliance is a nonprofit health insurance purchasing alliance that was founded in Summit County in 2018 and has since expanded into Dolores, Grand, Lake, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan counties. This year, the alliance is also adding Park County to its network. The organization will again be offering plans via its partnership with Bright Health.
Peak Health Alliance’s Director of Outreach Elise Neyerlin presented on next year’s options for businesses during the meeting, noting that there would be additional benefits in certain plans, such as vision, dental and expanded generic drug access. She said perhaps the biggest update for employers is the inclusion of additional group coverage options for 2022.
“Last year, our only group coverage option was (the Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangement),” Neyerlin said. “… But we did hear that businesses wanted a full rainbow, that ICHRA was maybe good for some and not for others, and (some) just wanted that to be complimented by other options.”
The Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangement provides businesses with the best savings options, Neyerlin said. It essentially allows employers of any size to make contributions of their choice, which employees can use to purchase a plan that fits their needs on the individual market. Peak Health began promoting the program last year as its only group coverage option, and Neyerlin said about 75 businesses have enrolled.
Next year, Neyerlin said Peak Health will offer three additional group coverage options:
- The first is a traditional small-group option that will serve businesses with between two and 100 employees, offering a variety of different plans across bronze, silver, gold and platinum tiers.
- The second option is level-funded plans, which Neyerlin described as a hybrid between a self-funded and fully insured product, wherein employers could contribute to a claim account for their employees and would be reimbursed at the end of the year with any funds that haven’t been spent.
- Finally, the alliance is offering self-funded plans, where an employer would pay all the claims of their employees at Peak’s lower negotiated rates.
Neyerlin said employers could expect relatively stable premium rates from Bright Health and Peak Health Alliance in 2022, with only minor increases or decreases depending on the plan.
“Kind of through them all, you’ll see a wash, nothing too dramatic,” Neyerlin said. “It’s really stabilizing … which is really welcomed after a lot of ups and downs in all health insurance markets in the last decade. So we’re excited about that.”
Open enrollment for the individual market will begin Nov. 1 and end Jan. 15, 2022. Group enrollment can happen at any time. All enrollments must be completed by Dec. 15 in order to have coverage in place by the start of next year.
For more information on Peak Health Alliance’s offerings, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 970-455-0381, ext. 104.
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