Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

April 10, 2013

Marion County to feel effects of "Obamacare"

Steve Woodhouse
Journal-Express

Knoxville — Mandatory fees, stemming from the "Affordable" Health Care Act, also known as "Obamacare," will be imposed on Marion County's next employee benefits plan. 

The Marion County Board of Supervisors dropped an item on its original agenda, intended to approve the employee benefits plan covering the next fiscal year (July 1, 2013, through June 30, 2014). However, the County was notified by Wellmark of additional fees, shortly before Tuesday's board meeting and after the County had already certified its budget. 

"We got these numbers late and need to build this into our premium," County HR Coordinator Lisa Shives told the Journal-Express. 

Wellmark is charging $5.25 per individual covered by the County's plan, per month, for a Transitional Reinsurance Fee. This fee is charged to stabilize premiums for the first three years of the new health care exchanges, created by Obamacare. 

Another fee, charged per individual per month, in the amount of $9 is known as the Annual Health Insurance Fee. This fee helps funds reforms. It is a mandatory imposition stemming from Obamacare. 

The fees will go into effect Jan. 1, 2014. There are 364 individuals on the County's health care plan, according to Shives. 

The County is restructuring its health care plan to strategize, and determine who will bear the additional $14.25 per month, per person, fees. This increased cost, whether it befall the County or its employees, totals $171 per individual covered each year and $62,244 total for one year.