What are health insurance renewals?
Renewals are the time period when your insurance carrier assesses your policy and decides new pricing for the following plan year. The insurance carrier will assess your policy based on your group’s claim history and predicted plan usage, in addition to health insurance inflation to determine your new price.
Health insurance plans generally renew annually, regardless of where you have your policy.
- Master policy customers: All medical, dental, and vision plans under Justworks’ master policy will renew on November 1st every year regardless of when your company signed up for health insurance.
- Open market plan customers: Open market plans through Justworks will have their renewal based on when their open market plan became effective.
Why do renewals happen each year?
Renewals occur annually to allow you to change your plan based on your current needs. You’ll have the opportunity to switch plans, add a dependent, or opt-out if needed. As an employer, renewals are an opportunity to change your plan portfolio and company contribution.
For insurance carriers, renewals happen annually to make sure plans are up-to-date with rules and regulations, to adjust pricing to take into account inflation in the health insurance industry and to reassess risk.
Why does my plan renew on November 1st?
This is because you are part of Justworks’ master policy with either Aetna, Kaiser Permanente, UnitedHealthcare, or MetLife.
The Justworks master policy makes it possible for your company to get the variety of plans and the pricing you received when you signed up with Justworks. From the carrier’s perspective, your company joined a larger group policy that was already in place and which is set to renew on November 1 every year.
Open market plan customers: unlike the health plans under Justworks’ master policy, open market plans through Justworks will have their renewal based on when their open market plan became effective.
What can I expect during renewals?
AN INCREASE TO YOUR MONTHLY PREMIUM
You can expect to see some level of increase in the overall cost of plans. Premium increases are based on factors that are specific to your company including the types of plans offered, enrollment, and predicted plan usage. In addition to the factors specific to your company, monthly premiums also increase as a result of factors specific to the health insurance industry including overall industry performance, geographic performance, government-mandated benefits, prescription drugs and especially treatment costs, and overall inflation. As a PEO, we negotiate with our carriers to get small companies access to a much wider variety of high-quality health insurance plans normally reserved for large companies, as well as the overall rate increases our customers receive, but we do not negotiate specific companies' rates since we have a master policy that covers all of our customers.
AN OPPORTUNITY TO CHANGE PLANS AND CONTRIBUTE TO MEET YOUR COMPANY'S NEEDS
This is the one time a year when your company can pick new plan options and reset your contributions. If the plans you picked last year no longer make sense for the company you are today, now is the time to make the changes you need.
A FULLY ONLINE AND EASY TO MANAGE PROCESS
With Justworks, this plan selection process will all happen online. Once your rates are ready, you will be able to log into Justworks and pick your plans for the upcoming year. We’ll let you know when your plans are ready. If you need to talk to a human, our wonderful support team will be available to help 24/7.
OPEN ENROLLMENT FOR EMPLOYEES
Renewals are also an opportunity for your employees to pick their plans from scratch. Your employees will be offered all the new plans you select and they too will have a chance to re-evaluate their choices.
This is also a great opportunity for employees who have declined coverage in the past, to join your company program.
Once you have selected your plans and finalized your contributions for your company, your employees will go through an open enrollment period where they can choose their individual plans and coverage tier. This process will also happen online through Justworks.
How to prepare for renewals
Over the next few weeks, there are a few actions you can take to prepare for renewals.
UNDERSTAND YOUR EMPLOYEE NEEDS AROUND EXISTING PLANS.
Talk to your employees about what they would like to see in their health insurance plans to help you make an educated decision. Employees might have specific needs such as lower premiums, or lower deductibles. Surveying your employees early guarantees they will have the best experience possible with their health insurance.
MATCH YOUR NEEDS TO THE AVAILABLE PLAN OPTIONS
After you’ve identified your priorities in a plan, you can evaluate the portfolio of existing plans to assess which ones best meet your needs. During this time, our team will be available 24/7 over the phone, on chat, via email, and on Slack to discuss any questions you might have.
PREPARE A BUDGET
A significant part of health insurance renewals is deciding how much your company would like to spend on health insurance. Creating a budget prior to seeing your rates will help you decide which plans make sense and how much you’d like to cover for each employee.
This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.