Michelle Capezza Featured in “Are High-Deductible Health Plans and HSAs Dead in the Water?”

Employee Benefit Advisor

Michelle Capezza, Member of the Firm in the Employee Benefits and Health Care and Life Sciences practices, in the firm’s New York office, was featured in Employee Benefit Advisor, in “Are High-Deductible Health Plans and HSAs Dead in the Water?” by Phil Albinus.

Following is an excerpt:

What impact will new laws and disruptive partnerships have on benefit advisers? At the EBA Workplace Benefits Renaissance Tuesday, Michelle Capezza of Epstein Becker Green interviewed James Schultzer, vice president of JD Maschitto & Associates… The following is an edited and condensed transcript of the panel “Regulatory Update: Healthcare and Benefits in 2018 and Beyond.” …

Capezza: Association Health plans are another new development that is expanding the definition of an employer. We’re in a comment period for the Jan. 4 proposal for businesses to form an association to provide health insurance. This is also an example about the gig economy and people being self-employed and banding together and being able to purchase across state lines if they share a common industry or geographic area. But what are the drawbacks? Do we have an opportunity to impact markets?

Schultzer: Although I don’t think it’s the silver bullet in terms of fixing the healthcare system, what it would allow employers to do based on industry, trade and geographical region is to band together and pull out of the small-group market and band together as a large group. That does certainly pose an issue for the groups that are going to be remaining in this community rated or small-group market.

There’s a concern about adverse selection and although the regulations say that you can’t discriminate based on age or health status, there’s certainly some concern that that can that could happen. You can specifically find and target certain industries where you would expect to have a younger population so there is concern and adverse selection by allowing the association health plans, plus you have the state regulations and how they would oversee them as well.

Capezza: What should we do about advising employers? What is the role of the consultant broker in all this?

Schultzer: Do you have a particular niche but is it a non-profit? Is it technology companies or involved with a Chamber of Commerce or some other type of business organization? If you have that audience that’s trying to put together a plan that’s going to work but some of the obstacles you’re going to have would be, can you secure their stop-loss? What carriers are going to be willing to write a plan like this without any experience? Certainly from stop-loss carriers, you have to then put together the networks and put that all together.

I can tell you that that we deal with a lot of nonprofit business organizations and they are hungry for this type of idea.