Thursday, December 5, 2013

County Faces More Increases in Health Insurance Cost

Winston County government is facing another increase in health care cost for employees according to Jack Gordon, who handles health insurance for the county. Under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, an increase of eight percent will take effect as of January 1st. This increase is due to a 3 percent tax fee and a 5 percent benefit requirement fee attached to Winston County employee health coverage.

Under the Affordable Care Act, Winston County is considered to be a large group due to the fact that it has more than 50 employees. There will be no changes in medical benefits at this point although the maximum out of pocket deductable to employees will increase from $6000to $6350. This increase may be offset due to changes in drug co-pays that will go toward the deductible .

Under the Affordable Care Act, all large groups with 50 or more employees fall into a different rating structure that requires coverage for many different things that includes maternity, abortion, and contraceptives. As of January 1st, employers are required to tell all employees about the ACA website for insurance exchange .

The County's current policy will renew in May of 2014 and is subject to rate changes due to claims history at that time. The 8% increase is not related to this renewal.