Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) made some changes. This aims to give employees an easier time to make midyear changes to their health insurance plans for 2020.
The ordinary procedure is that employees cannot switch health insurance plans midyear. This serves as protocol unless there is a major life change. Such life changes include “divorce, job loss or new child,” reported Fox Business.
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Under the new guidance, employers can allow their employees to make changes in the middle of the year. That would be in effect for the rest of the year. “For instance, an employee who declined coverage could enroll in a plan, change plans or add or drop family members,” Fox Business said in a report.
The policy change, however, does not require employers to offer these options to employees. They must “opt in if they want to give their employees added flexibility,” reported Human Resource Executive.
David Speier, managing director of benefits accounts at Willis Towers Watson, had something to say about this. “Employers will evaluate these changes closely before deciding whether to adopt them,” he said. “The guidance may require some extra paperwork for employers, but the added flexibility may be attractive to workers who want to make changes.”
According to The New York Times, some employer groups have been persuading the Treasury Department for these new options.
“I can imagine being an uninsured worker and being hesitant about returning to work and exposing myself to the virus without having health insurance,” said Cynthia Cox, a vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation.