Listed below are nine of the most frequent questions we receive from members about how the COSE MEWA works and how it may be a good benefit option for small businesses. Looking for additional insight? Visit our COSE MEWA information page.
Question 1: What is the COSE Health and Wellness Trust?
Answer: The COSE Health and Wellness Trust is a new way to cover your employees’ health benefits with some great financial benefits for you. It’s a self-funded, Multiple Employer Health Welfare Arrangement (MEWA) health plan for COSE members and designed with small business needs in mind. The COSE MEWA was exclusively developed by COSE and the Greater Cleveland Partnership to help its small business members and their employees with the increasing cost of healthcare benefits.
Question 2: Who can apply?
Answer: You must be a member of the Greater Cleveland Partnership’s Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE) to apply for coverage in the COSE MEWA, and your business must have 50 or fewer employees. Business owners and partnerships with no employees are also eligible to apply. Please contact your broker or our direct sales team at (888)310-6262 or COSEbenefits@medmutual.com.
Question 3: What are the benefits of using the COSE MEWA for my group’s health coverage?
Answer: The COSE MEWA was designed to manage your healthcare benefits cost, and provide benefit plans that may be a better fit for small business owners and their employees. Because the COSE MEWA is a self-funded plan, it has many benefits, including:
• The COSE MEWA offers 18 different plan options with varying deductibles and coinsurance designed exclusively for the COSE MEWA, and because MEWAs are not subject to some of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) mandated benefits and taxes, it helps to keep costs lower.
• The cost of your benefits better reflect the unique health of you and your employees, recognizing that a healthier team should create a better benefits cost outcome.
• All COSE MEWA benefit options are tied to the same Medical Mutual network of doctors and hospitals that COSE members have accessed for years.
• And, because we have arranged to have Medical Mutual administer these benefits, your employees will still have access to Medical Mutual’s Customer Care team.
• In addition, we know that the security of your data and information is important. So, as an additional benefit, the COSE MEWA also offers identity theft resolution services coverage and remediation services at no additional cost.
Question 4: What are the advantages of a self-funded plan?
Answer: There are several advantages to small business owners with a self-funded option:
• The COSE MEWA offers rate stability, the flexibility of benefit options and recognition of preferred health status.
• The COSE MEWA may be less expensive for your group than similar ACA plans because it considers criteria unique to your employees such as medical history.
• Your disclosed pre-existing conditions will still be covered.
Question 5: How will my group funding rates be determined?
Answer: Unlike Community rated ACA rates that are solely determined by age, location, family size and smoker status, your group rates will be based on additional factors, such as medical history and gender. The expanded criteria of the COSE MEWA for pricing your benefits allow us to tailor the costs to the unique characteristics of your group, recognizing the preferred health status that you may have.
Question 6: How is the COSE MEWA regulated and protected?
Answer: The COSE MEWA is regulated by the Ohio Department of Insurance (ODI). These state regulators monitor the COSE MEWA to ensure appropriate surplus is available to cover unforeseen risk and protect its solvency. The COSE MEWA also maintains stop-loss insurance coverage to provide additional protection to plan participants. You can feel confident about the stability of the COSE MEWA as it is closely monitored by the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Labor and the ODI.
Question 7: Do these plans comply with the ACA?
Answer: These plans comply with all ACA mandates applicable to self-funded plans as well as certain state requirements for MEWAs. The COSE MEWA covers ACA-compliant Essential Health Benefits with the exception of pediatric dental coverage.
Question 8: Who can I contact for more information about plans or to get a quote?
Answer: For more information or to get a quote, please contact your broker or contact the Medical Mutual COSE Benefits team at (440) 878-5930 or call (888)310-6262. You can also email questions to COSEbenefits@medmutual.com.