How is Group Health Insurance changed by the New Health Care act?

Well that is a mouthful. At first it did not dawn on me that group health was going to change that much. I had heard the stories and wondered what the outcomes were going to be, but they were not going to mess with those that already had health insurance. Well I guess I was short sighted or just not following closely enough.

Some of the things that are going to affect group health insurance are the Affordable Care Act Reinsurance Fee. This is a fee ( tax ) where the group plans pay a reinsurance fee to support the individual market place. The fee for 2014 is $5.25 per member per month, in fact states have been given the lee way to charge their own fee. Although in the act this fee is scheduled to decline over three years and then be eliminated.

What about premiums in the group market. Well that is till in the wind but some numbers are showing that groups with young employees will show substantial increases and older groups might even show a decrease. As I said I haven't seen the final rates yet.

There is also another fee being imposed on groups of $1.00 or $2.00 per member depending on the group plan year. This is to fund a non-profit organization. This group Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute will be examining the effectiveness, risks and benefits of medical treatments.

Finally and not solely about group insurance, Health insurers are going to be required to pay an annual fee to fund premium subsidies and Medicaid expansion. This is for insurers of fully insured plans. The projected payment total for 2014 is expected to be $8,000,000,000. This is expected to be about 2.46% of premiums before the state tax.

 Ask your group health insurance company for their brochure on the employers rules. An Employers guide to health care reform is going to be quite a read. It will give you your choices and help you follow the rules.

I am looking forward to seeing where we all stand come January. If they are right my premiums go down and my son's group will go up. That might not be a win-win as he is just a start up and already has way too many expenses to deal with. We shall see.



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