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Provision in Obamacare Likely to Force Up Cost of Many Family Plans
Townhall.com ^ | December 1, 2013 | Mike Shedlock

Posted on 12/01/2013 8:45:17 AM PST by Kaslin

In an ongoing trend, unrelated to Obamacare, companies have been passing on more and more healthcare costs to employees.

However, an ACA gotcha has impacted the way costs are passed on, with families taking a bigger hit than individuals at many companies.

Please consider Companies Prepare to Pass More Health Costs to Workers.

Many employers are betting that the Affordable Care Act's requirement that all Americans have health insurance starting in 2014 will bring more people into their plans who have previously opted out. That, along with other rising expenses, is prompting companies to raise workers' premium contributions, steer them toward high-deductible plans and charge them more to cover family members.

The changes as companies roll out their health plans for 2014 aren't solely the result of the ACA. Employers have been pushing more of the cost of providing health insurance on to their workers for years, and firms that aren't booking much sales growth due to the sluggish economy are under heavy pressure to keep expenses down.

A quirk of the Affordable Care Act could make it more appealing for companies to raise rates for family coverage than for individuals, said Vivian Ho, a Rice University health-care economist.

Starting in 2015, companies employing 50 or more people must offer affordable health-care coverage to anyone working 30 hours a week or more. But affordability is measured using the cost of individual coverage, capping the cost at 9.5% of income, Ms. Ho said. Raising family rates could help companies recoup costs without running afoul of that limit, she said.

Gannett Co., which owns more than 80 newspapers and 23 television stations, expects one factor in its increased health costs to be the addition of more employees to its insurance plans due to the ACA rules, according to a person familiar with the company's projections.

To address an overall increase in costs, Gannett has replaced the two plans for families it used to offer its workers with a single high-deductible plan that requires employees to pay the first $3,000 of medical costs each year, according to workers at the Indianapolis Star, one of the company's papers. For those with individual coverage, who make up a little over half of Gannett's insurance pool, the figure is $1,500.

The company also scrapped a sliding scale that let lower-income workers pay lower premiums. For some employees, the result was a 60% jump in monthly premiums for family coverage, to $575 from about $360.

Gannett said more than half of its employees will see premiums fall by 12%.

United Parcel Service Inc. made headlines in August when it said that it would bar spouses from its nonunion health plan if they could get coverage at their own jobs. The company said it expected to see an increase in its health-care costs in part from adding employees to its plan who currently opt out.

About 6% of employers ban coverage for spouses who can get it elsewhere, and another 6% impose an explicit surcharge for covering a spouse, according to Mercer. American Electric Power Co., for example, began imposing a $50 monthly surcharge this year to cover spouses with access to insurance at their own workplace. AEP said 92% of its employees usually sign up for coverage, so it doesn't expect a surge of new enrollment.

In another shift this year, companies have become increasingly aggressive about steering employees toward plans in which they pay more of the initial costs for their care in exchange for lower premiums.

Trucking and logistics company Ryder System Inc. has replaced one of its two insurance options with one such high-deductible plan. Ryder is encouraging employees to choose the new option in part by raising the cost of more traditional coverage.

Winners and Losers

Half of Gannett employees will see a 12% drop in premiums. But others will see a 60% rise. And for those who do see premiums decline, the drop will be solely because they are forced into high deductible plans.

Obamacare created a pool of winners and losers, with some of the losers far worse off than before. Many people were hardly affected at all, at least initially. In aggregate, ACA did nothing to lower overall costs, it just shifted costs around in an inefficient manner, making things worse than before.

The most widely reported "success" has been the enrollment of tens of thousands of people into Medicaid. Because of cost sharing that kicks in later, many states are likely to regret that effort.



TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Editorial; Government
KEYWORDS: aca; baitandswitch; huaca; husseins; obamabreakspromises; obamacare; obamatax; unaffordablecareact; youcankeepitgate

1 posted on 12/01/2013 8:45:17 AM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

Good. The only way this POS law will be overturned is when enough of the idiots who keep voting for the Rats have had enough and vote in politicians who will rescind it.


2 posted on 12/01/2013 8:53:06 AM PST by Signalman
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To: Kaslin

Monthly payments go up, annual deductible triples or quadruples. You will now pay for all services up to the deductible. Oh wait, abortion and birth control are free. What a great idea!
We all know most marginally paid people have $5,000 to $8,000 in spare cash to cover that deductible each year.
Yes, you pay higher monthly payments, and the insurance pays nothing until you pay your deductible EACH year. What’s not to like/S


3 posted on 12/01/2013 8:53:09 AM PST by 9422WMR (: " Tolerance is the virtue of a man who has no convictions".)
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To: Kaslin

Why, all of a sudden, is this abomination called the Affordable Care Act? It is neither affordable nor does it improve health care.

It is Obamacare. He wanted it; he owns it. Never for one second let him get away from that.


4 posted on 12/01/2013 9:01:11 AM PST by NTHockey (Rules of engagement #1: Take no prisoners. And to the NSA trolls, FU)
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To: Kaslin
The "Affordable Care Act"? Did they pass a second bill when I wasn't looking?

Cuz this is OBAMACARE. PERIOD.

5 posted on 12/01/2013 9:16:11 AM PST by Lazamataz (Early 2009 to 7/21/2013 - RIP my little girl Cathy. You were the best cat ever. You will be missed.)
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To: NTHockey

GMTA


6 posted on 12/01/2013 9:16:56 AM PST by Lazamataz (Early 2009 to 7/21/2013 - RIP my little girl Cathy. You were the best cat ever. You will be missed.)
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To: Signalman

Good. The only way this POS law will be overturned is when enough of the idiots who keep voting for the Rats have had enough and vote in politicians who will rescind it.


The problem is, who is going to repeal obamacare? The GOP leadership has shown no sign they will ever go nuclear in opposition to kenyancare. They have steadfastly refused to engage the Dems on kenyancare. There is no reason to believe that will change.

In fact, many of the big GOP donors WANT socialized medicine. What the beltway GOP really day dream about it is “fixing it” and all the lobbyist payola that will generate.

Unless we get a POTUS like Cruz to brow beat the GOPe into repealing it we are stuck with socialized medicine.


7 posted on 12/01/2013 9:24:04 AM PST by lodi90
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To: NTHockey
Why, all of a sudden, is this abomination called the Affordable Care Act?

Doesn't matter. Obama's name is inextricably linked to it. The Dems should have called it the "Public Health Care Act" or something, because the people are definitely going to scoff at the 'affordable' bit. There is no lipstick available that can dress up this pig.

8 posted on 12/01/2013 10:23:52 AM PST by Right Brother
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To: Kaslin
Starting in 2015, companies employing 50 or more people must offer affordable health-care coverage to anyone working 30 hours a week or more.

"Affordable" means different things to different people, but the median household income in the US was $51,017 in 2012, so a health insurance bill of $20,000 is probably more than a "big ****ing deal" (to quote VP Biden) to most households.

I don't see socialized medicine, I see an epic Chicxulub asteroid impact. (Don't get sick for the next few years!)

9 posted on 12/01/2013 10:25:13 AM PST by Sooth2222 ("Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of congress. But I repeat myself." M.Twain)
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To: Kaslin

Obama simply playing the Knockout Game with Obamacare.
If you are the wrong party you will be Knockedout!


10 posted on 12/01/2013 10:37:40 AM PST by FreedBird
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To: Kaslin
First, do no harm.


11 posted on 12/01/2013 10:41:24 AM PST by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: 9422WMR; All

Birth control is not a great idea? So you like paying for more poor kids welfare, emergency room visits, etc?


12 posted on 12/01/2013 10:51:14 AM PST by gleeaikin
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To: Sooth2222
Affordable (in the govenment's eyes) means 9.5% of annual salary compared to the cost of individual coverage. If an employer provides that, then no matter how expensive family coverage is they still can't get subsidized rates on Obamacare. This will be huge because it is people in lower income jobs that tend to have employee only coverage.

I used to think the option was for employees to get their employers to dump coverage, but the penalty is $2000 per employee of your total workforce, even if only one employee is without coverage. It is all or nothing.

13 posted on 12/01/2013 10:58:06 AM PST by USNBandit (sarcasm engaged at all times)
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To: Travis McGee
LONDON, June 21, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - An eminent British doctor told a meeting of the Royal Society of Medicine in London that every year 130,000 elderly patients that die while under the care of the National Health Service (NHS) have been effectively euthanized by being put on the controversial Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP),a protocol for care of the terminally ill that he described as a “death pathway.”

Scaled to the size of the US population...that gives over 750,000 euthanizing events a year.

14 posted on 12/01/2013 10:59:11 AM PST by spokeshave (OMG.......Schadenfreude overload is not covered under Obamacare :-()
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To: Sooth2222
Oops, didn't turn off the underline.

Affordable (in the govenment's eyes) means 9.5% of annual salary compared to the cost of individual coverage. If an employer provides that, then no matter how expensive family coverage is they still can't get subsidized rates on Obamacare. This will be huge because it is people in lower income jobs that tend to have employee only coverage.

I used to think the option was for employees to get their employers to dump coverage, but the penalty is $2000 per employee of your total workforce, even if only one employee is without coverage. It is all or nothing.

15 posted on 12/01/2013 10:59:31 AM PST by USNBandit (sarcasm engaged at all times)
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To: gleeaikin; 9422WMR
Birth control is not a great idea? So you like paying for more poor kids welfare, emergency room visits, etc?

Practicing Catholics, oppose b/c on moral grounds. Why should they be forced to pay for someone elses b/c? I'm 68 and my wife is 60, why should we be forced to pay for someone elses b/c?

A better question is, why should any free American be forced to pay for health insurance period?

The O.P. opposed "free" b/c not b/c.

16 posted on 12/01/2013 11:02:27 AM PST by Graybeard58 (_.. ._. .. _. _._ __ ___ ._. . ___ ..._ ._ ._.. _ .. _. .)
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To: Graybeard58

Because we are all forced to pay for more costly emergency room visits? Why should I be forced to pay for someone elses Viagra?


17 posted on 12/01/2013 11:06:34 AM PST by gleeaikin
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To: spokeshave
Scaled to the size of the US population...that gives over 750,000 euthanizing events a year.

Huge upside for SocSec and Medicare funding. The unspoken part of Obamacare. When the kiddies whine about Grandma's early demise, the regime will offer up some Groupons for student loan forgiveness.

18 posted on 12/01/2013 11:08:49 AM PST by nascarnation (Wish everyone see a "Gay Kwanzaa")
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To: Kaslin

A quirk of the Affordable Care Act could make it more appealing for companies to raise rates for family coverage than for individuals, said Vivian Ho, a Rice University health-care economist.

Well I bought an Individual policy for our 29 year old son when he was 27. We never filed a claim on it. His was cancelled.

The company Health.net offered a new plan at twice the price and deductible going from $4500 a year to $6350 per year. Oh joy! NOT! They added mammograms and birth control pills, and pedicatric vision/dental - none of which can a single MAN use.


19 posted on 12/01/2013 11:09:38 AM PST by buffyt (Abortion is murder. It is not a choice, it is a CHILD of GOD.)
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To: lodi90

Amen, Amen & Amen! You are RIGHT! We LOVE Ted C at our house.


20 posted on 12/01/2013 11:10:36 AM PST by buffyt (Abortion is murder. It is not a choice, it is a CHILD of GOD.)
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To: nascarnation

And the heirs can inherit her stuff before it is all gone! Like money, stocks, bonds, houses, cars, jewelry!


21 posted on 12/01/2013 11:11:25 AM PST by buffyt (Abortion is murder. It is not a choice, it is a CHILD of GOD.)
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To: gleeaikin

Buy your own damned birth control. And stop forcing me to pay for other peoples kids.


22 posted on 12/01/2013 11:13:12 AM PST by Lurker (Violence is rarely the answer. But when it is it is the only answer.)
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To: gleeaikin

Birth control is personal responsibility. I’m not paying for someone else’s condoms or birth control pills. But I do find great humor that the gay crowd has to pay for it also.
The whole obamacare scam must be repealed.
The fraud must be removed from the White House.
Glee Aikin? Really?


23 posted on 12/01/2013 11:44:24 AM PST by 9422WMR (: " Tolerance is the virtue of a man who has no convictions".)
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To: spokeshave

Now serving grape Flavoraid at a nursing home near you.


24 posted on 12/01/2013 11:47:18 AM PST by Organic Panic
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To: spokeshave; Travis McGee; All

Scaled to a population of over 300,000,000, then 750,000 or 7.5 to 3,000 annually sounds like a normal or low death rate, not euthanazia.

I cared for my 89 year old mother when she was dying of congestive heart failure as the pig valve she received 10 years earlier began to fail. She was too frail for another surgery. I also cared for my husband who died of Alzheimers. The last 3 years were 24/7/365. Neither wanted to die in a hospital hooked up to IV and stomach tubes and they signed advanced directives years earlier when they were lucid. My mother knew she was dying and suffered from anxiety. My cousin, a doctor who knew and cared about my mother, suggested a mild tranquilizer which was a big help. When my husband finally collapsed and could not walk any more, the doctors who had seen him 3 months earlier sent me home hospice care (a nurse visited daily to check on him and give me advice). After a few days he did not want to eat. My son and I talked with the doctors. They said, feed him if he wants food, give water if he wants it. He did not, he died 5 days later at home in our bed. There is a time when dying is normal, we must learn to accept that and help the way the loved one wants us to. The Red Cross and others should offer classes on home care of the dying. Many want to die at home, but family do not feel able to do this—fear and ignorance.

I decided to check out the Liverpool Care Pathway. There are many links. Here is one about comparative testing, and an important comment.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2461376/Liverpool-Care-Pathway-little-benefit-study-finds.html

Actually, dying people don’t feel thirst. The dying person follows their body cues just like a living one does. Their body is shutting down and doesn’t want food or fluid. Trying to force that into their body is cruel and causes them to become ill and vomit, and that usually ends up in their lungs. Fluids cause overload and create pain and breathing difficulties. There seems to be a lack of knowledge about the dying process. It is part of the life cycle. When your body is done so are you. We can keep you free of pain and other symptoms if you have them. But we can’t change the course you are on. The ethical solution is to maintain comfort only.


25 posted on 12/01/2013 11:49:40 AM PST by gleeaikin
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To: Kaslin

I never thought I’d see the day when the VA is the best deal going on health “insurance”.


26 posted on 12/01/2013 11:53:01 AM PST by VerySadAmerican (".....Barrack, and the horse Mohammed rode in on.")
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To: gleeaikin
Birth control is not a great idea? So you like paying for more poor kids welfare, emergency room visits, etc?

You like paying for STDs?

27 posted on 12/01/2013 2:08:16 PM PST by palmer (Obama = Carter + affirmative action)
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To: gleeaikin

If you’re too fucking stupid to understand the difference between Viagra and birth control, you’re probably a female.


28 posted on 12/01/2013 2:10:33 PM PST by Trailerpark Badass (There should be a whole lot more going on than throwing bleach, said one woman.)
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To: gleeaikin
Your examples are actual dying people. The problem with government-run care is that it inevitably results in denial of needed but expensive treatments in favor of cheap generic medications that are not always the best choice. For example the rate of artery surgery to prevent stroke is 10 times greater here in the US than in Britain, they get aspirin instead. Other operations that are nonessential are delayed for years (e.g. hernia).

The bottom line is that there are debilitation and preventable deaths in many instances over there with very little to balance it on the positive side (e.g. lower overall cost).

29 posted on 12/01/2013 2:21:34 PM PST by palmer (Obama = Carter + affirmative action)
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To: Trailerpark Badass
If you’re too fucking stupid to understand the difference between Viagra and birth control, you’re probably a female.

As per post 25, she is indeed a woman - a thourghly mixed up one at that.

30 posted on 12/01/2013 2:50:19 PM PST by Graybeard58 (_.. ._. .. _. _._ __ ___ ._. . ___ ..._ ._ ._.. _ .. _. .)
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To: Graybeard58; Trailerpark Badass; All

And how many people who knew they were dying have begged YOU to care for them at home so they don’t end up dying in a hospital.


31 posted on 12/03/2013 12:44:54 AM PST by gleeaikin
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