Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Fees, Glorious Fees

So you think many of us dodged a bullet when the (Evil) Employer Mandate got pushed off a year?

Not so fast there, pardner.

Assurant's sent out an interesting FAQ (fact-sheet) about just what fees are due next year, exclusive of the employer reporting requirement. Lets take a look at some of the wonderful new expenses that will cause your insurance premiums to decrease 3000% next year:

1 - Annual Fee on Health Insurance Providers

Well first, let's make clear that this is a misnomer: insurers don't pay any fees, their insureds do. What's funny (ironic, not comedic) about this is that this fee is "to help fund the cost of PPACA." So it's a fee to pay for collecting itself.

Very meta, that.

2 - PPACA Transitional Reinsurance Fee

This one "is an annual per capita fee that funds a temporary reinsurance program" that lasts for 2 years ('14 to '16). It's essentially a pay-off to carriers involved in the now-defunct high risk pool program [Correction: this fee is designed to subsidize carriers as they take on higher risk individuals, and to "stabilize insurance premiums in the individual market" Thanks to Bob H in the comments for pointing this out!]

3 - Patient-Center Outcome Research Institute Fee (PCORI)

We've discussed this one before. Basically, it's a slush-fund for the benefit of a "not-for-profit corporation created by PPACA to give patients a better understanding of prevention, treatment and care options available."

You know, WebMD.

All of these fees go into your next renewal regardless of your company's size (or even if you've got an individual plan - remember, carriers don't pay these fees, you do).

[Hat Tip: Assurant's Jeremy F]
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