A recent article published by the Henry J Kaiser Family Foundation states 1 of every 6 large employers plan to offer low benefit ‘skinny’ plans in 2015. These medical plan types go by a number of names including “mini-med”, bare bones, limited health, and minimum value plans. They typically offer coverage at a fraction of the cost compared with comprehensive medical policies – but there is very little actual benefit for the employee. However, strong demand from employees for products like this remain, so what’s an employer to do?
Most employers offering a ‘skinny’ plan also after comprehensive health insurance as well. Organizations that have a high population of low wage employees such as retail and food service industries are prime candidates for this option. Under the Affordable Care Act, employers that have 50 or more full time employees must offer a health insurance that satisfies two main requirements. A, it must be affordable and B, it must offer essential health benefits.
A ‘skinny’ or to use a more marketable term a “Minimum Essential Coverage” plan helps employers avoid the penalty associated with not offering coverage.