Employers are bracing for a little-noticed fee in the federal health-care law that will charge them $63 for each person they insure next year, one of the clearest cost increases companies face when the law takes full effect.
Companies and other plan providers will together pay $25 billion over three years to create a fund for insurance companies to offset the cost of covering people with high medical bills.
The fees will hit most large U.S. employers, and several have been lobbying to change the program, contending the levy is unfair because it subsidizes individually purchased plans that won’t cover their workers. Boeing Co. and a union health plan covering retirees of General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler, among other groups, have asked federal regulators to exclude or shield their insurance recipients from the fee.
Insurance companies, which helped put the fee in the law, say the fee is essential to prevent rates from skyrocketing when insurers get an influx of unhealthy customers next year. The fee is part of a new insurance landscape created by the health law that will forbid insurers from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.
Boeing figures the fee will cost them $25 million in 2014.
This was one of those “have to pass the law to find out what’s in it” surprises that was buried so deep in this monstrosity that most of the companies that will be affected by it didn’t notice it at first. It’s not too hard to figure out where large companies that are going to be forced to spend tens of millions extra next year are going to get that money. OK, it is hard to figure out for those in Progressive fantasy land, where all money falls from a magic tree in space.
One thing I will say about the ACA: it doesn’t discriminate. It wants everyone in business to go broke, big or small.
Four more years.