Concerning the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the good news for Wallenpaupack Area School District is that their health insurance meets all the federal requirements. On the flip side, the School District must pay $96,000 in fees for Obamacare.
Superintendent Michael Silsby stated that the extra cost to the District was planned in the budget, a cost they did not have before. The money they must pay the federal government for the new health insurance law is money they won't be able to allocate elsewhere.
Ultimately, the money must come from somewhere. Silsby said that in the case of a business, the fees get passed on to the consumer in higher prices. For the School District, this is another expense coming out of school revenue paid by taxpayers.
He made mention of the expense to the School Board, Nov. 18th.
Specifically, the District must pay $1 for everyone insured by the District, for the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) fee. Between the District personnel and their dependents, they have 1,500 insured.
The fee pays for health care research through the PCORI. The initial fee is $1 per covered life, increasing to $2 for 2013, and adjusted annually for later plan years.
Then there is the "Re-Insurance" fee, $63 for each person insured, for 2014. That comes to $94,500 for the District. This fee is a required contribution to fund the transitional reinsurance program based on a federal contribution rate set by U.S. Health & Human Services.
Together, the fees total $96,000.
New taxes and fees are helping to pay for the changes instituted by the ACA to the U.S. health care system.
Silsby noted that the fees were announced after the elections.
"The bottom line is the board needed to know," Silsby said in an interview. He said there was more cost, but no additional health care benefit.
Their insurer meets all the federal provisions, he said; District personnel won't have to be looking for a new provider.
SEE THE SATURDAY PRINT EDITION FOR MORE SCHOOL BOARD ITEMS.
Wallenpaupack Area School Board will meet next on Wednesday, December 4 at the High School Library. The meeting starts at 6 p.m.; a committee meeting precedes it at 5:30 p.m.