Have you noticed additional fees on your insurance premiums?
Federal taxes are being imposed on private health insurance premiums (you the consumer). Estimates for funding needed in 2014 for ACA begin in the $8 Billion range, and increase from there. The allocation to the insurance carriers is based on their market share (the business sold, the more dollars assessed). Insurance predictions last year were that these fees would add about 3% to the rates, but we haven’t even begun to see the trickle down effect of how rates will be impacted moving forward.
The first fee that clients began to see was the PCORI fee (Patient-centered outcomes research institute) in fall 2013, which ranged from $1.00 to $2.00 per member, per year. Add that to the Risk Adjuster fee of less than .10, and it doesn’t seem too bad.
The newest assessed fee (Reinsurance fee) began January 1, 2014, as directed by the HHS (Health & Human Services/Federal Government). This one has more teeth, so to speak, and equates to $5.25 per member (per belly button), per month.
If you haven’t noticed these fees in your premiums, then your carrier has built them into the total premium for each insured or group. One of our major carriers in Northeast Wisconsin (Network Health) made the decision to not include these fees in their premiums, but bill them as a separate line item. Will this be a good or bad decision? It depends on your philosophy of who and how we should all pay for the Affordable Care Act. As it stands today, we are all paying for it, like it or not.
Finally, these fees are being assessed to new groups, new individual plans, renewing (or early renewal) groups/individuals and grandfathered health plans. Regardless of what type of plan you have, you are being assessed new fees/taxes, whether they are easily recognizable or not.