December 19, 2013
Those of you who are in the New York City Bar-sponsored group health insurance plan should be receiving a letter
from our broker, Marsh, advising that there will be significant changes to our health insurance program as of April 1,
2014, our renewal date. Please note that through March 31, 2014, all insurance under the City Bar health insurance program continues – unchanged
Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), participants in group health plans who are sole proprietors or certain partnerships (defined as not having a non-spouse employee) will no longer be able to obtain small group coverage, but rather will be able to purchase
only individual health insurance plans. Participants who still qualify for small group plans will have a different selection of plans to choose from, as insurance offerings are being re-designed to make them ACA-compliant.
We realize this is a confusing and, for some of you, a difficult situation. We have been frustrated as well. We and Oxford had asked the State Department of Financial Services to do what it could in the face of the ACA to permit
members to retain their prior insurance policies, particularly after statements by President Obama to the effect that people should be able to maintain the plans they have. However, the Department, as have its counterparts in most
other states, decided to proceed without making such an adjustment.
Our broker (Marsh will be renamed Mercer as of January 1) invites both our health plan participants and other City Bar members to contact it at 1-888-882-2269 with any questions. For those who need to switch to
individual coverage, Mercer is looking to assemble coverage alternatives and encourages you to call it directly for one-on-one assistance in addressing your health insurance needs.
Oxford will be sending its own letter to participants in our health insurance plan later this month. You may see that the Oxford letter refers to a January 1 renewal date. Please ignore that; as noted above, all insurance under the
City Bar health insurance program has a renewal date of April 1.
In the run-up to April 1, we and Mercer will share information as we get it, and we will continue to post information on our website. Again, feel free to call 1-888-882-2269 for assistance.