As pointed out in this earlier post, there seems to be a lot of misinformation flying around regarding "Obamacare", some of it from Mayor Burchett's office and some of it from WBIR.
The transitional reinsurance fee applies to ALL insurance plans, not just self-insured groups like Knox County as suggested by Mayor Burchett.* Maybe he's getting bad information from his finance people.
WBIR takes it a step further, saying "Knox County is getting a hefty bill from the US government after it says the county did not use the federal health plan for its employees."
Not only do I not know what that means (who writes this stuff?), the report contains other inaccuracies, such as referring to the "Affordable Healthcare Act" (not the name) and that Tennessee had opted out of the program. We haven't and we can't - just the exchange part, which will be run by the federal government for our state, and the Medicaid expansion part. All other provisions of the Affordable Care Act apply to all Tennesseans and all insurance companies operating in the state. States cannot "opt out."
WBIR has been notified and we are not aware that they have taken any steps to correct this irresponsible journalism. The comments on the report, however, suggest it is having the desired effect.
As for our response to the County's complaints about the re-insurance fee (which applies to ALL insurance plans in the U.S.) see here.
UPDATE: The Mayor's office clarifies that Mayor Burchett is not intentionally trying to mislead. Their point is that because the transitional reinsurance fee applies to self-insured groups as well as insurance company policies, the County is required to pay a new fee. For insurance company policies, the fee will be passed along as a premium increase. We are told that Knox County has no plans to raise premiums to cover it.
(*Document source: Mike Donila's blog, reformatted.)
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