Employers will have their choice to pay a controversial health care reform law fee in one payment or two installments, according to new guidance from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Much of the $25 billion in assessments, to be paid annually over a three-year period, for the Transitional Reinsurance Program will be used to partially reimburse commercial insurers writing policies in public exchanges for individuals with high health care costs.
The 2014 assessment remains, as stipulated in earlier regulations, at $63 for each health care plan participant. However, the new guidance says employers now have a choice in how they will pay the $63 fee.
They can pay the $63-per-participant fee in two installments, as authorized under earlier guidance, with a $52.50 payment due Jan. 15, 2015, and an additional $10.50 payment due Nov. 15, 2015. However, under the latest guidance, employers can choose to pay the full $63 per participant fee with one payment, due Jan. 15, 2015.
Employers welcomed the one-payment option.
“We are thankful that HHS has changed its policy to allow one consolidated payment. Many companies prefer the efficiencies of a one-payment approach,” said Gretchen Young, senior vice president for health care with the ERISA Industry Committee in Washington.
“Employers will appreciate the flexibility to make a single payment,” or making two payments, added Rich Stover, a principal with Buck Consultants at Xerox in Secaucus, New Jersey.