ObamaCare Continues, Counties Quietly Stuck With New Fee

As reported by The Hill, more than 11.7 million more people have health insurance through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance through ObamaCare.

ObamaCare expanded eligibility for Medicaid, the government health insurance program for the poor, up to 138 percent of the poverty line, which is about $33,000 for a family of four. . . The new data show that Medicaid enrollment grew by almost 27 percent in expansion states, compared to 8 percent in non-expansion states.

Federal officials are also indicating that States that did not expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act may not receive federal subsidies for hospitals and doctors who care for the poor, according to Statelinea publication of the Pew Charitable Trust.

Maryland participated in the medicaid expansion to low-income adults.  According to FamiliesUSA, up to 160,000 Maryland residents could have gained access to Medicaid as a result of the expansion, and according the Maryland Department of Legislative Services, at least that number of residents did gain access to Medicaid in 2014.

While Maryland counties do not contribute to Medicaid coverage, Maryland county governments could be facing new costs under ObamaCare because of the high level of coverage that they provide for their employees. In 2018, the so-called ‘cadillac tax’ could result in additional fees for county governments than maintain quality coverage for their employees. As described by Politico,

Though the nickname suggests it will apply to a select few, experts say a majority of employers could eventually face the prospect of imposing what will be the first-ever tax on health care benefits. . . At issue is a 40 percent excise tax on the health benefits companies provide their workers above a certain threshold. In 2018, the tax will hit insurance and related perks valued at more than $10,200 for singles and $27,500 for families. So for family benefits worth $30,000, the tax would apply to the $2,500 that’s above the limit.

The Cadillac tax will be the subject of the Maryland Association of Human Resources Officers presentation at the MACo Summer Conference in August. For more information about the Cadillac tax, read ‘Cadillac tax’ the next big Obamacare battle, from Politico and our previous post, ACA’s Cadillac Tax Could Hit Public Employers.

For more information about coverage increases under ObamaCare, read the whole story from The Hill here. For more information about Maryland’s medicaid expansion, see The Legislative Handbook Series from the Maryland Department of Legislative Services,  and for more information about States that did not expand medicaid, see Stateline, Federal Money for Charity Care at Risk in Several States.