The McHenry County Board has provided a really, really good health care program for its employees and themselves.
It is so good that the magazine Governing features McHenry County, along with Boston, in an article about the extra cost imposed by Obamacare on really, really good health care benefits.
Starting in 2018 there will be a new tax on benefits worth more than $10,200 for individuals and $27,500 for family coverage.
Here’s what is said about McHenry County government:
In McHenry County, Ill., which employs roughly 990 and insures about 2,500 taking dependents into account, the transitional reinsurance fee will cost about $160,000 a year, according to Robert Ivetic, the county director of human resources. Ivetic and his colleagues have been discussing the best way to fund this extra cost.
“Do we just put an excise tax on all people in the plan and say we’re collecting an extra $5 per month to help pay for it? Or is the county going to pay for the first year and then look for creative solutions down the road? It’s kind of a dilemma when you stop to think about how you fund this.” Adding to McHenry County’s struggle are 11 different union contracts that have no mention of the transitional reinsurance fee. “My guess is that [the unions] would want to negotiate it,” Ivetic says.
While $160,000 isn’t much to a larger municipality, if the cost fell entirely to McHenry County, it could have a significant impact. “If we do not come up with a way of at least having some cost-sharing with employees, it would come out of our reserve, which is not an ideal situation because when you’re self-funded, you need that for high claims.”
“They aren’t helping the cause of getting out good information because they aren’t giving it,” says Ivetic. “Everyone knew these fees were coming, but you can’t say ‘Hey, you’re going to be paying more, but we don’t know how much it is or when.’” Without having all of the proper information at hand when you speak to employees, Ivetic says, you run the risk of creating panic.