Skip to comments.(Democratic) Older hill aides shocked by Obamacare prices [Waah alert!]
Posted on 11/21/2013 6:01:22 PM PST by markomalley
Veteran House Democratic aides are sick over the insurance prices theyll pay under Obamacare, and theyre scrambling to find a cure.
In a shock to the system, the older staff in my office (folks over 59) have now found out their personal health insurance costs (even with the government contribution) have gone up 3-4 times what they were paying before, Minh Ta, chief of staff to Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), wrote to fellow Democratic chiefs of staff in an email message obtained by POLITICO. Simply unacceptable.
In the email, Ta noted that older congressional staffs may leave their jobs because of the change to their health insurance.
Under the Affordable Care Act, and federal regulations, many congressional staffers designated as official aides were forced to move out of the old heavily subsidized Federal Employees Health Benefits program and into the District of Columbias health insurance marketplace exchange. Others designated as unofficial were allowed to stay in the FEHB program. Managers had to choose whether aides were official or unofficial by Oct. 31, and Ta said that wasnt enough time to make an informed decision about who would benefit and who would lose out by going into the new system.
Moores office was one of those in which all staff were designated as official and pushed into the exchanges. That ended up being a problem for older staff, who werent accustomed to paying higher premiums because of their age.
But age is one of the few factors insurers can use to adjust prices under Obamacare and older people will often pay much more than younger people.
For instance, the premiums for gold-level Aetna HMO plans in D.C. cost an average of $684.40 per month for a 55-year-old. A similar plan would cost an average of $287.11 for a 27-year-old. The gold-level CareFirst HMO plans have an average premium of $573.07 for a 55-year-old more than double the $240.41 average for 27-year-olds. Thats before the federal employee contribution toward the premium.
In an interview with POLITICO, Ta emphasized that employees are not dissatisfied with the Affordable Care Act and that some younger staffers have seen their premiums fall. But, he noted, congressional aides are treated differently now than other federal employees, and he would like to be able to offer the best health insurance option available to his employees even if that means some of them are covered under the old system and others jump into the exchanges.
He wrote in his email that he had asked Democratic staff on the House Administration Committee whether she could redesignate some of the aides on Moores payroll as nonofficial office staff so that they could avoid the exchange and keep their FEHB plans.
So far the answer is no, and that we have the opportunity next year to redesignate staff, Ta wrote. I am asking for a solution now though because I will lose staff in my office because of this snafu and I mentioned to payroll and House Admin[istration Committee] that it was unfair for our offices to make this designation without allowing our staff the ability [to] actually go on the DCshop to compare rates. I would have made a different decision on the designation of my older staff.
Ta concluded by asking other chiefs of staff to join him in petitioning the Administration Committee for an immediate fix. Glenn Rushing, chief of staff to Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, quickly replied to the group that he would join the fight.
They deserve ridicule.
Even if true, which I doubt, bet their deductible went way way up!
These are the flamers that wrote this monstrosity. We must keep vigilant so that we leave them no wiggle room to further “enhance” their coverage.
DELICIOUS That's what you get for being a worthless, teat nibbling bureaucrat of the STD Party
(gasp)...I can’t breathe....
The absolutely do.
We told them over and over what would happen.
Quite a few of us have been saying that. Welcome to the party, pal.
employees are not dissatisfied with the Affordable Care Act
No, of course not - they're out there with pitchforks and torches as a part of a Christmas - sorry, "Holiday" - skit. And so the answer is to make things better for everybody in the country, right? Wrong. What they want to do is
...redesignate some of the aides on Moores payroll as nonofficial office staff so that they could avoid the exchange and keep their FEHB plans.
Hey, what happened to "If you like your plan you can keep it. Period."? What happened to fixing it for everybody instead of just Congressional staffers? What happened to sharing the burden?
Kill this obscenity. Now. And drive a stake through its heart.
The bubble that our congresscritters and their sycophants live in is thicker and more impregnable than I thought!
It used to look good to them, but now they find it... simply unacceptable.
Visit the beltway sometime.
It’s extremely educational.
I recommend it for all taxpayers.
Now they know how they little people feel.
Great post. After the Reid treachery, I needed a laugh.
That part always seems to be left out.
They’ll lose staff? Where will they go? Do they realize the taxpayers are paying 75% of their premium and when they go to another job they will probably not get ANY subsidies?
F’n propagandists! Can’t believe everyone doesn’t see it.