UnitedHealth is expected to issue $3.5 million in these refunds
California health insurance giant, UnitedHealth, is the first in the state to declare the total amount in rebates that it will be issuing to small businesses due to the fact that its spending on medical care costs did not reach the 80 percent requirement under the healthcare reform laws.
There will be approximately $3.5 million split among almost 4,400 small business across the state.
The rebates will be received throughout the summer as the insurer also gets itself ready to send back millions of dollars to individual customers.
The total for each of the small business employees (and their dependents) that will receive a rebate will be around $98. There should be almost 36,000 people receiving these checks over the next short while.
The current healthcare regulations, as per the changes during the overhaul in 2010, state that California health insurance companies are required to disclose to state and federal officials, the amount that they owe their policyholders when they have failed to meet the requirements of the medical care spending. The due date for this disclosure is June 1.
This provision to the Affordable Care Act put into place by President Obama, was called for by consumer groups, who wished to make sure that insurers weren’t simply increasing premiums to make sure that they would have more money for their shareholder dividends, executive salaries, and other costs unrelated to the medical care of the policyholders.
Experts in healthcare have said that the money being refunded can either be distributed among the employees, or they can be retained by the small businesses who must then re-invest it into improvements to the benefits that those workers receive.
As of May 30, the only California health insurance company to have filed the information regarding their rebates was UnitedHealth. They performed their required duty by submitting the information to the state Department of Managed Health Care. It is expected that the other insurers who have also failed to meet the legal requirements will be making their own filings before the end of the week, when they are due. The next deadline that they will face is for the rebates themselves, which must be sent out by August 1.