As expected, Emblem Health has officially announced their small group and sole proprietor health insurance market departure effective January 1st, 2014. Emblem has previously indicated they will be moving towards the individual and small group exchange market so this news comes as no surprise. Existing Emblem groups will be notified via letters 90 days in advance of the discontinuance effective date of 1/1/14 (regardless of the renewal date).
Sole proprietor plans will not be replaced on the exchange. As such, these NY plan holders will need to elect either individual exchange plans, or sole proprietor plans written off of the exchange (e.g. with Oxford).
Existing Emblem groups and sole proprietors may wish to consider moving to another carrier (e.g. Oxford, Aetna) now as opposed to waiting for the cancellation date of 1/1/14. This way, the group can secure the current Q3 & Q4 plan structures being offered by the other carriers. An insurance broker can help you secure your new option for you and/or your employees.