Some County Employee Heath Insurance To Increase As A Result Of The Affordable Care Act

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GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) -- Parts of the Affordable Care Act are starting to take effect, which means employees are learning of the changes that will impact them and of course their wallets.

If you print out and stack up the Affordable Care Act, it's about as thick as five phone books. With that being said, within those pieces of paper are some major changes for area county employees.

Marshall County is one of the local government organizations that is covered by a state insurance plan. Officials say many local government entities are covered by it. County Commission Chair James Hutcheson says because it's through the state, that means the Affordable Care Act directly affects it. "What it does, it mandates what the state has to do, what the Blue Cross has to do within the state," Hutcheson says.

Since the Act requires the company to raise the limits on some aspects of the policy it costs the insurance company more money. "So what the insurance company has to do is pass its costs onto the people they provide it for - the county employees," Hutcheson says.

County employee premiums won't be changing at all. However, the costs that are changing are significant. Hutcheson says the biggest change is the out-of-pocket maximums.

Last year the individual out-of-pocket maximums were one thousand dollars. In 2014 it will jump to more than six thousand dollars. For family out-of-pocket maximums, that number will double to more than 12 thousand dollars.

Inpatient hospital deductibles and emergency room copays will both increase by one hundred dollars.

"So this is a major increase employees will see, especially if they use a lot of drugs," Hutcheson says.

He says when the county switched to this plan a few years ago it was and still is the best plan they could go with.

This all goes into effect at the start of of the year.


  • Dale

    It is a shame that a news department will not tell the whole facts on a subject. In the case of this story. What is not reported here is the fact that most of the employees for the county will qualify for subsidies to help pay the premiums of the new policies. Plus subsidies for helping in the out of pocket expenses. If your premium is more then 9.5% of your income, you can get subsidies to help pay it. If the county employees are happy with what the state offers, they can to apply for insurance, yes you will be able to the problem will be fix just like it was 10 years ago for the Medicare Plan D program, find something cheaper then the state will offer, and better coverage, and still the state would have to pay their share. This station needs to start telling the facts about this, instead of the stupid Tea Party propoganda. Poor excuse for news department.

  • Wake Up

    This is not the fault of the ACA. The state insurance can shop for a different plan. The ACA opens the insurance market to more competition.

    • bob

      James, your falling down on your job, Why not blame the TEA PARTY, for this, the socialist democrat party will.

  • bv gardner

    Wake Up, according to the next to last sentence in the article (“He says when the county switched to this plan a few years ago it was and still is the best plan they could go with.”), they have shopped for a different plan. That is the only way for them to know it is still the best plan they can go with. (sitting here enjoying my TEA)

    • Wake Up

      Bv gardner, you are correct — it says that they shopped around a few years ago. As they say, that was then, this is now! The ACA now offers more competition than was available a few years ago. I hope you enjoy your tea, because that party is about over!

      • bob

        Thanks, to obomacare all my babies will be covered. And you James can help pay for my babies, thanks to you and everyone pulling the wagon.

  • Waymon Griffin

    It is time for the Alabama Insurance Department, and Insurance Companies to be held accountable! The ACA may be BAD, and it may be good, but everything points, due to the ACA that insurance companies will benefit more.

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