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With 23 states (so far) refusing to set up health care exchanges to implement ObamaCare, the federal government is being forced to implement its own exchanges in these states instead. Since the ObamaCare law did not provide any funding to do this, observers have been wondering - "how are they going to pay for these exchanges?"
Unsurprisingly, the answer is - wait for it - another new tax!
Technically, it's actually a user fee, which is functionally a convenient way to levy a tax without having to go to Congress. In a new proposed rule issued this morning, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has authorized the federal exchanges to collect a fee from insurance companies participating in the exchange for each policy they sell.
Of course, insurance companies will simply pass this fee on to consumers, either by raising their premiums or by reducing their coverage. The same will likely be true in those states which are implementing state health care exchanges - the states are authorized to collect fees in order to pay for the costs of running the exchange.
How much will this cost you? According to one major study, this much:
So the average family buying their own plan would see their costs go up by $270 just in 2014, in addition to the overall increase in the cost of their premiums.
Worse, the amount of the fees is flexible based upon how much the exchange costs to operate. As reported by Sam Baker of The Hill:
HHS said it might change the amount of its user fee in later years, as more people enroll coverage through the exchanges. It will also monitor states' fees.
In other words, this fee is certain to go up as the exchanges inevitably grow, regardless of whether a state runs its own exchange or not.
This is just another way that ObamaCare will raise the cost of your health care, which is why we must fight the law by urging states to opt out of setting up an exchange. For more on why resisting state exchanges tears at the fabric of the health care law, check out this great summary HERE.