Happy New Year – two new Obamacare fees start Jan 1, 2013

While everyone has been busy worrying about the “fiscal cliff,” a number of other regulatory and tax changes have gone by relatively unnoticed.  Two of these involve the massive new Affordable Care Act regulations, which largely go into force on January 1, 2013.

The first is a $25 billion tax that will be added to all health insurance premiums.  The money will be used to fund stabilization subsidies given to insurers to help them cover the costs of insuring people with pre-existing conditions.  (As of Jan. 1. 2014, all health insurance is required to be ‘guaranteed issue’ and premiums cannot be up-rated for those with pre-existing conditions.)  The tax will be levied for three years – 2013, 1014, and 2015 – and will decrease slightly each year.

Although all insurance policies will be hit with this tax, which works out to roughly $63 per year for 2013, employers that provide their employees with group coverage will end up bearing the brunt of these costs and will receive little to nothing in the way of benefits.  The reason? Insurers who offer group plans are already required to provide guaranteed issue coverage to all qualified group members (and their families, if this option is chosen by the employer) regardless of health history.  Therefore, most of the subsidized benefits provided by this tax will go to individual policy holders, not group policy holders – even though the tax is levied equally on both individual and group policies.

The second tax, buried deep inside hundreds of pages of new regulations released Nov. 30, is a 3.5% “user fee” to be levied on the premiums for all policies purchased through one of the new Federal government-run health insurance exchanges.  The Affordable Care Act stipulated that the Federal government would guarantee everyone access to a health insurance exchange, but the authors of the bill obviously did not anticipate 17 (and possibly more) states refusing to set up their own exchanges.   Now that the government must set up its own exchanges in these non-compliant states, it has a problem on its hands – the ACA bill failed to provide any revenue for their administrative costs.  This oversight was “fixed” by the new 3.5% premium user fee.  However, it is unclear at this time if the Department of Health and Human Services has the authority to levy this tax.

As Phillip Klein from The Washington Examiner notes, the only thing we can be sure of with regard to Obamacare is that the program’s true costs will be known only after all the provisions of the law have been implemented – which will probably be 2015 or later.  Those of us who have been paying attention already expect numerous missed deadlines, massive cost over-runs, and additional breaks and waivers for special interests.  No one should be surprised that new taxes and fees will also start showing up … “unexpectedly.”

The Journal News Editor Cyndee Royle Is Now "Protecting" Herself
D.C. Police Investigating NBC’s Gregory For Violations of Gun Banning Laws
  • GarandFan

    Seems all that “free” health care isn’t “free” after all.

    • jim_m

      Free just like my free obama home and free obama car and free obama gas.

      Wait, you guys didn’t have obama pay for your mortgage and gas?

      • william spires

        Yeah, and don’t forget the “Obamaphone” immortalized by the illiterate, clueless Obama supporter who let the whole world she didn’t mind her life being totally controlled by the Obama Fourth Reich Gestapo Police State.

    • Anything free is worth what others pay for it.

  • 914

    Time for another Hawaiian get away!!

  • ackwired

    The sooner that the country gets realistic about the health care situation, the better. Obamacare and Medicare will end up providing only major medical, as that is all the government can afford to provide.

    • jim_m

      Obamacare and Medicare will end up providing only creating major medical cost increases, as that is all the government can afford to provide do.


    • herddog505

      Wait… does your definition of “realistic” require that Uncle Sugar slap a lot of new taxes on us to sort-of provide health care to (relatively) a few more people? In effect, “We Gotta Do SOMETHING!”(TM) even if that “something” is stupid and destructive?

    • wasadoc

      The “government” can’t afford to pay for anything. They have no money. Whatever is paid comes from the people in the form of taxes

      • ackwired

        LOL…Sorry, forgot the mantra.

  • Vagabond661

    “We don’t have a B-3 bomber.”

  • macofromoc

    Don’t forget Dodd Frank

  • Pingback: Yes Virginia, sooner or later we will all be paying more taxes | Wizbang()

  • Quietus

    This is absolutely horrible. Why are we stepping closer to the rest of the western world & their horrible health statistics.