Most Rhode Islanders obtain health coverage through their employers. That's why OHIC is serious about protecting employers' rights as consumers in the health insurance market. OHIC provides employers with information, so they know their rights. OHIC also provides employers with regulatory protections.
RIREACH can also assist you if you have encountered something potentially unlawful or irregular such as discrimination, refusal of service, or rates that seemed too high to be in line with Rhode Island law.
Employers' Legal Responsibilities
Though OHIC does not regulate employers, it believes that the entire healthcare system runs more smoothly when employers understand their obligations toward their employees.
The Employment Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), a branch of the US Department of Labor, is responsible for enforcing one of the most important laws laying out employers' healthcare obligations: the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). COBRA and HIPAA are both ERISA laws. You can find EBSA's guide to employer compliance here.
You may also have heard about new employer requirements under the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA). To help employers understand these changes, the US Small Business Administration has created an employers' guide to the ACA, available here.
If you need insurance, OHIC can direct you to community partners who can help you find the right plan. OHIC cannot directly advise you on the purchase of a plan. To buy insurance HealthSource RI, or call 1-855-840-4774. You may be eligible for tax credits to reduce your cost for insurance if you buy insurance through HealthSource RI. The health insurance companies who sell plans through HealthSource RI are:
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island;
- UnitedHealthcare; and
- Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island
Learn More About Healthcare in RI
Materials to help better understand the healthcare system are available at:The Commonwealth Fund
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation
To learn more about HealthSource RI, Rhode Island's state-based health insurance exchange, please visit www.healthsourceri.com. HealthSource RI also has information on the insurance basics, available here.