Recap: GovConNet Member Meeting: Affordable Care Act for Government Contractors

Posted Date: 
August 21, 2013

Tequila Terry, Director, Plan & Partner Management at Maryland Health Benefit Exchange presented to the Montgomery County Chamber GovConNet Member Meeting about the Affordable Care Act and its impact on Government Contractors.

Affordable Care Act for Government Contractors

Date: August 21, 2013

Barbara Ashe, Executive Vice President of The Chamber, welcomed MCCC members and announced the upcoming Global Trade Forum. Kwesi Rogers, GovConNet Committee Vice-Chair, introduced the speakers, Tequila Terry, Director, Plan & Partner Management at Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, Julie Verratti, Advisor, Field Operations, U.S. Small Business Administration, Tina Tucker, CBC, GBDS, Vice President of Employee Benefits of The Insurance Exchange, Inc. to present about the Affordable Care Act and its impact on Government Contractors.

Tequila Terry began the presentation by providing an overview of the Affordable Care Act. She explained that The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act require each state to establish a “health insurance exchange” by 2014. An exchange is “a marketplace where individuals and small businesses explore, compare and enroll in private health insurance and public assistance programs as well as access federal tax credits and cost-sharing subsidies.” Under the Affordable Care Act, if an employee chooses to participate in the company’s insurance plan, the plan will fall under the regulations of the state where the company is headquartered.

Each state can choose from three exchange models:

  • State-based model: The state will implement its own regulations (e.g. Maryland and D.C.)
  • Federally-facilitated model: The state will implement the Federal Government’s exchange regulations (e.g. Virginia)
  • Partnership model: The state will combine its own regulations with the Federal exchange (e.g. Delaware)

Maryland’s marketplace is called “Maryland Health Connection” and is the first of its kind in the Nation. The Affordable Care Act will expand access to health insurance for the 13% of the state’s population who are currently uninsured.

The Maryland Health Connection offers:

  • The only place individuals can access subsidies
  • Cost sharing reductions for individuals earning under 250% of the Federal Poverty Level
  • Federal government will pay a portion of costs for individuals earning up to 400% Federal Poverty Level
  • Access to Medicaid and private plans. Additional plans will be added to the marketplace.

The Maryland Health Connection will also provide a Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) for businesses with up to 50 full-time equivalent employees. Among other comments from the U.S. SBA, Julie Verratti defined a full-time equivalent employee as an employee working 30+ hours per week or two part-time employees that combine to equal one full-time employee.

SHOP provides employers:

  • The only way to access tax credits to cover employee premiums beginning in 2014
  • A range of plan options that are easy to administer
  • An Employee choice model

Tina Tucker discussed strategies and things to consider as a Government Contractor with 2-50 employees when deciding whether to continue offering insurance with an individual marketplace opening. Government Contractors have a unique situation in terms of the importance of predicting costs, so consider how many employees will be added to the insurance plan that were not eligible before.

The State of Maryland will build public awareness about the Maryland Health Connection through a major marketing campaign. Employers are encouraged to contact providers and State “Assisters” to navigate the process.

Click Here to view the presentation.

MCCC Strategic Partners