MOUNT VERNON — Companies that offer health care packages to their employees have found unexpected charges and fees on their January health insurance premium bills.
Michael Percy, Griffin Insurance, said some charges aren’t shown when he provides a quote to customers but just come up on the bill. The charges, he told the News, are mandated by the Affordable Health Care Act legislation and can include: Healthcare reform tax; market share fee; transitional reinsurance program fee; federally-facilitated exchange user fee; patient-centered research institute fee and risk adjustment user fee.
The fees, or taxes, he said, are all assessed to the carrier and then charged back to the individuals. For example, the transitional reinsurance program fee, supposed to be in effect for three years, is $5.20 per member per month. It was designed to partially subsidize individual insurance companies that cover high-cost individuals.
“If you are (an insurance company) covering an individual that costs more than you are allowed by law to charge, the transitional reinsurance fee goes back to that company,” Percy said. “All of us are paying for those high-risk individuals now versus the high-risk individual paying it all.”
While there are no direct fees for using the federal health care exchange, there is an exchange user fee that is a 3.5 percent of premiums on all business the insurers write through the federally-facilitated exchange. It is meant to help pay for healthcare.gov, Percy said.
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