Tuesday, June 25, 2013

More on the $300K thing, ObamaCare

There's some interesting spin going on (and one media outlet kind of messed up some stuff) about this whole ObamaCare thing and what the county owes. It's not just Knox County, folks. Anyhoo, here's a little more from the documents included in yesterday's post, right smack here, and from an email I got from the county's health insurance consultant (nope, not sharing that one, cause I'm greedy).

Sooooo, yes, Knox County this year is on the hook for almost $300,000 in “transitional reinsurance” fees tied to the Affordable Care Act, typically known as ObamaCare.

In addition, it will also have to make payments – 5.25 per member per month – each of the next two years.

Right now, the county has 4,700 members, including spouses and dependents, on its plan, so the amount owed will fluctuate as people join and leave, said county Finance Director Chris Caldwell.

The money at this point will come from the county's health insurance reserve fund, which stands at about $500,000. However, the administration wants to put up to $4 million in expected surplus revenues into it, once officials close the current fiscal year books, which will more than likely be in late August or early September.

The county's plan covers general county workers, fee office employees and the Sheriff's Office.
Humana, the county's third-party administrator, will actually collect the fee, and turn it over to the federal government.

The transitional reinsurance program will require all self-insured group health plans and health insurance issues – not just Knox County – to pay the per-enrollee fees.

In a note to county officials, Drew Mann, the county's health insurance consultant, told officials that the fees “are intended to stabilize premiums in the individual market for the first three years that the exchanges are in effect.”

He added that they will be used to make “payments to health insurance issuers that cover high-risk individuals in the individual market.”

In a letter sent June 10 to U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan, who does not support the affordable care act, Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett complained about the fee, calling it an “unintended consequence.”

He added: “It is a shame that the Obama Administration seems intent on punishing conscientious, self-insured organizations like Knox County to expand healthcare coverage to some who do not even want it.”

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