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AHIP on Insurance Tax Hit

By December 18, 2012Commentary

The health reform law is a hodgepodge of rules, taxes and supposedly innovative programs to improve quality and lower costs.  In 2013 the reality of this mess will begin to sink in and by 2014 the full scope of the disaster will become apparent.  As one of the funding gimmicks to make it appear that the law would reduce the deficit, Congress had a number of large taxes kick-in before the coverage mandates and expansions did,.  One that does not start until 2014 is the health insurance tax, but a report done for America’s health insurance plans by actuarial firm Oliver Wyman projects the likely costs, on a state-by-state basis of this tax.  Consumers should remember that they ultimately pay all of these taxes and if they think their health care costs are going down, they are delusional, but fortunately the reform law ensures that they have very good coverage for that condition.   (AHIP OW Report)   The tax will cost about $8 billion in 2014, rising to $14.3 billion in 2018 and continuing to grow every year.

The likely impact on premiums is about a 1.9% to 2.3% increase in 2014 and by 2023 that increase will be 2.8% to 3.7% and this is just one of many health reform aspects that will make coverage costs rise.  Consumers should understand that they are going to pay these costs in full.  On average over ten years, a family will be paying $5140 more, or over $500 a year, in the individual market, $6883 or $688 per year in the small group market and $7186 or $718 per year in the large group market.  The increase even affects Medicare and Medicaid enrollees.  The biggest hits fortunately are in states that tended to support the law, like New York and California.  How the Administration and its cohorts in Congress could have sold this law as reducing health insurance premiums is a disgraceful travesty.  When all is said and done, the cost of obtaining health care coverage on a is likely to be at least 10-20% higher just because of the provisions of this “reform” act.  Hang on for a bumpy ride when the public fully realizes this.

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