By James Clark - email
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - How much will President Obama's healthcare reform cost local taxpayers? Public records say the answer is unknown. But there is likely to be some sort of cost. In order to become a "grandfathered" healthcare plan, the City must make changes to its employee healthcare coverage.
For example, the City has a $2 million per person lifetime limit. To meet the new requirements the city must have no lifetime limit. Also the city must allow employees to cover their children to the age of 26 instead of 25. If the city does not make these change it would lose grandfathered status and "be subject to all applicable consumer protections in the health reform law."
There are other requirements. According to background information recently presented to city officials, "To maintain its grandfathered status, a plan cannot significantly increase copayments or deductibles, increase out-of-pocket limits, raise co-insurance, make annual limits more restrictive or add new annual limits, significantly decrease the share of premiums that employers contribute for their workers, or eliminate covered benefits."
That same background information says, "It is currently unknown what financial impact Health Care Reform will have on the City's self-insured health benefit plan." However, "it is anticipated that the City's increase will be less than experienced by non-grandfathered plans."
City Council takes up the matter Wednesday morning.
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