Mini-med plans provide only the very basic health care coverage in order to keep premiums affordable and are usually offered to seasonal, part-time, temporary, blue-collar, and entry-level employees. Firms that offer mini-med plans include McDonald's, Waste Management, Dollar Tree, and TN's own, Gaylord Properties in Nashville.
Health reform will significantly impact these plans in 2014 and it is possible that this option will disappear completely because mini-med plans do not generally cover the list of "essential benefits" defined in health reform. Those currently covered under mini-med plans would likely go into the health insurance exchanges and probably be eligible for subsidies, which would result in penalties for their employers. For some employers, the penalty could put them out of business.
Click here to read the Employee Benefit News article outlining the issues for mini-med offerings.
10/1/10 Update: McDonald's is considering dropping health insurance coverage for 30,000 employees covered under their mini-med plan, citing the insurance carrier's unwillingness to comply with new health reform requirements for percent of premium that must be spent on medical claims. So, it's not just the "essential benefits" requirements, but also the medical loss ratio requirements that are impacting mini-med plans. McDonald's is seeking a waiver from the requirements for this mini-med plan. Click here to read WSJ article.