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Lewes, Delaware
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April 16, 2013     Cape Gazette
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10 TUESDAY, APRIL 16 - THURSDAY, APRIL 18, 2013 Cape Gazette ul will be used to fund exchange age of 19. Preventive care is cov- first in the year as a way to re- Without changes, programs established by the ered at 100 percent, and there is duce the number of dependents taxes will increase state or federal government ifthe no lifetime maximum for people covered by the county. County state does not have an exchange in the county's plan. council will make the final de- By Ron MacArthur program in place. Jennings said Jennings said the county pian termination on what cost-saving ronm@capegazette.com Sussex County Council got a firsthand look at what,the Af- fordable Care Act could cost at the local level. By 2018, directives in the the act could increase costs to the county by more than $300,000. After a presentation by Gina Jennings at the April 9 meet- ing, Councilman George Cole, R-Ocean View, joked: "It's inter- esting it's called affordable; that's fascinating to me." Businesses that employ fewer than 50 people are exempt from the taxing provisions of the act, said Jennings, Who will become the county's finance director in May. Sussex County employs more than 500 people; all em- ployees who work more than 30 hours per week are eligible for healthcare benefits. At the top of the list of new costs is an annual excise tax on insurance plans with premiums exceeding $10,200 for individuals and $27,500 for families. When the tax begins in 2018, Jennings said, the cost of the county plan would be over the threshold; as a result, Sussex would face a tax of $1,750 for each family covered, an annual $245,000 tax. Jennings said the county cov- ers 1,257 people on its plan at a value of $8,000 per insured per year, and that number would in- crease over the threshold during the next five years. Jennings said if council ap- proves a proposal to require spouses of employees to obtain their own employer's insurance, the county could avoid going over the thresholds. The county will also pay an annual tax of $63 per person in the county's plan - or $75,600 per year - to help fund temporary re- insurance programs. The money the federal goal is to collect $25 billion from 2014 to 2016. In 2013 the county will pay $1 and then $2 per insured person starting in 2014 to help fund the act's patient-centered outcomes research institute. The payment to the Intemal Revenue Service will be made through 2019 and will total $2,400 a year start- ing in 2014. According to the act's website, the institute is charged with examining health outcomes, clinical effectiveness and appropriateness of different medical treatments by evaluating existing studies and conducting its own. Its 19-member board will include patients, physicians, nurses, hospitals, drug makers, device manufacturers, insurers, payers, government officials and health experts. Starting Jan. 1, 2014, employers with more than 50 employees that do not offer minimum essential healthcare coverage will be subject to a monthly penalty of $2,000 for each full-time employee minus 30. There are separate programs and some tax credits for compa- nies that employ fewer than 50 people, Employers offering coverage must provide affordable plans that cannot exceed 9.5 percent of an employee's household income or $95 a month for employee- only coverage. Jennings said pre-existing condition exclu- sions and annual dollar limits on essential health b nefits will be eliminated. Wellness rewards are buik into the act, and employers will be able to vary premiums up to 30 percent for participation in well- ness programs, she said. Dependents under the age of 26 are eligible to stay on their parent's healthcare plan, and there are no pre-existing condi- tions for dependents under .the Sussex insures more than 1,200 * PLANNING MARKETING ADMINISTERING Cruises for groups 2013 Group Cruises from New Jersey Inclusive Pricing; No Hidden Fees Bus to pier, taxes, insurance, gratuities Celebrity Summit Sept. 07, 2013: 14 Days to Canada & New England Call now for current availablility and pricing. Space limited.t eteti @ cruiseholidays.com www.eteti.cruiseholidays.com Sussex County has 1,257 people in its health insurance program, must comply with requiredmeasures are instituted. Chris" including 658 employees and retirees; 2!5 spouses; and 384 women's health preventive care Smith of Integra told council children. and cover the cost of birth con- another costs savings measure That includes 238 people on trol. To cut costs, the county's - a new Delmarva network - is the single plan; 80 employee and claim administrator, Integra, pro- already in place. Using the net- spouse; 72 employee and chil- posed two measures for council work ofl,200 providers and eight to consider: an employee's hospitals would have saved the dren; and 135 family. spouse could take other health- county $160,000 last year, said Broken down into gold-and care coverage if available at their Finance Director Susan Webb. silver-level plans, single em- ployees pay nothing for silver own workplace; and dependents Smith said those in the net- could be required to have prima- work are guaranteed payment plan and $40 per month for gold; ry coverage under insurance of and therefore can offer a dis- employees on the family plan pay $180 monthly for gold plan and the parent whose birthday comes counted rate. $140 monthly for silver. We Repair & Service: Cracked cell phone? iPad? Button not working? No sound? 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