The Fine Print: Extra Obamacare fees
Friday, August 16, 2013 7:00 AM
Businesses that purchase health insurance won’t face any direct fees - absent possible penalties - but they are likely to see a bump in their premiums due to several new fees that insurers will pass through to them. Here’s a snapshot of three fees that could affect your premiums in 2014:
1. Transitional Reinsurance Fee
Designed to help stabilize premiums in the individual health insurance market for patients with pre-existing conditions. Health insurance issuers and third-party administrators will pay the assessment to fund state nonprofit reinsurance entities, which will establish high-risk pools for the individual market.
2. Health Insurance Industry Fee
Intended to help fund implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The fee will be charged to insurers based on the prior year’s share of total earned premium.
3. Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute Fee
Collected to help fund a research trust fund that pays for comparative research of medical treatments and services.
Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, which provides coverage to a majority of Iowa’s health insurance market, has said that it will pass along the additional cost of these fees to its plan members. Wellmark estimates the total amount of the fees would result in less than a 6 percent increase over current premiums.