Affordable Health Care Act Costly To County Schools

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Affordable Health Care Act is already proving costly to the county schools, risk manager and insurance advisor Ed Adams said Thursday night.

He told school board members that a reinsurance requirement has a charge of $63 per employee - or an overall amount of $300,000 that must be paid to the federal government.

Also, the county schools this year will have to pay $1 per member covered by the insurance program under a PCORI requirement. That will be about $10,000 considering there are 10,000 people covered. It will go up to $2 per member - or $20,000 - next year.

Mr. Adams said at some point the county schools will have to move away from the current "Cadillac" insurance plan offered employees or face fines of $2,000 per employee. That will later go to $3,000 per employee, he said.

School officials said it has been difficult to alter the plan because it has to be done with the agreement of the teacher union.

Mr. Adams said the county school plan is "the state leader" in rich benefits. He said, "It is richer in every category."

He said deductibles are lower and monthly charges lower.

In order to meet one requirement of the new federal law, the board is going to start offering a third plan in addition to the Blue Cross PPO and the Cigna HMO. It will have a $5,000 annual deductible. The monthly charge will be $50 as opposed to the current $100 charge.

Officials said some younger and healthier employees may opt for the plan.

But even if no one applies, the county school system is still meeting its obligation under the law by offering it, officials stated.

Leon Rash of the finance department said, "Whether anyone takes it or not, it doesn't matter. We will be legal. We will be OK under the law." 


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