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Health Care Reform:

Health Insurance & Affordable Care Act

States To Help Pay Obamacare Tax On Insurers

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-- Florida anticipates the tax will cost $100 million, with the state picking up $40 million and the federal government, $60 million.

-- Texas estimates the tax at $220 million, with the state paying $90 million and federal government, $130 million.

-- Tennessee anticipates it will owe $160 million, with the state paying $50 million and the federal government, $110 million.

-- California has budgeted $88 million, with the state paying $40 million and the federal government, $48 million.

-- Georgia estimates the tax on its plans at $90 million, with the state paying $29 million and the federal government, $61 million.

-- Pennsylvania predicts the tax will cost $139 million, with the state paying $64 million and the federal government, $75 million.

-- Louisiana estimates the tax will cost $27 million, with the state paying $10 million and the federal government, $17 million.

Texas is believed to be the only state that has not yet agreed to cover the tax for its health plans, according to state Medicaid and health plan officials.  “The premium tax is just another way that the costs of the Affordable Care Act are pushed down to states and families,” said Stephanie Goodman, spokeswoman for the Texas Medicaid program.

Medicaid officials in other states complain that paying the tax reduces money they could have spent on covering more services or paying providers.

“I do not feel I am getting anything in return for this,” said Tennessee Medicaid Director Darin Gordon.

Officials won’t know exactly how much states owe until the Internal Revenue Service sends bills to insurers at the end of August, and the Medicaid plans submit those to states.

The health insurer tax is estimated to bring in at least $100 billion over the next decade from all insurers, government auditors estimate.

Most non-profit Medicaid health plans are exempt from the tax, which the trade group says gives the nonprofits a competitive edge vying for state contracts.  “We consider this tax so badly construed that it should be reconsidered because it makes no public policy sense,” said Jeff Myers, CEO of Medicaid Health Plans of America.

Wed, Aug 27 2014

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