Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

Local News

December 27, 2013

ACA costing Centerville employees more for health care

The Affordable Care Act might mean one thing to one group of people and something else to another group of people but to Centerville employees to means more money.

The ACA contains a provision called the Transitional Reinsurance Program Assessment fee where all self-funded plans like the one Centerville has for its 39 employees requires each member to pay $63 more in year 2014 in the form of a fee or surcharge.

According to Wikipedia, self-funded health care is self-insurance where employers provide “health or disability benefits to employees with its own funds.”

Patrick Antonen, city administrator, last week said the $63 is “essentially a surcharge to help stabilize premiums in the individual market. The fee is the reinsurance program for higher-cost claimants and non-grandfathered individual market plans both on and off the exchange,” he said.

Not only will each employee have to pay the $63 per year but each family member they have included in the plan will be charged the same amount.

For a family of four, that means the ACA is costing them $252 in 2014.

Antonen said he was bracing for a double-digit health care rate increase because of the ACA. He said he was shocked when that didn’t happen.

He said the $63 surcharge or fee is a small price to pay for health care. He said he had heard the surcharge would only apply for the year 2014.

“And just hopefully it’s just for this calendar year, for 2014,” Antonen said. “Hopefully by 2015 they let the self-funded programs out.”

According to Internal Revenue Service documents, the transitional reinsurance program “to help stabilize premiums for coverage in the individual market” will be in effect during the years 2014 through 2016.

Antonen called ACA “very complicated” with a lot of unknowns.

“It’s kind of an unknown,” Antonen said. “Like everyone else with this whole thing it’s so new to everyone that everyone is kind of waiting and seeing what is going to happen with it.”

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