Obamacare contains a little-noticed fee of $63 that companies will be charged for each person they insure next year, an added cost increase aimed at building a pool of money for insurance companies to help offset the expense of covering people with pre-existing conditions and high medical bills.
The fee will create a $25 billion fund over the next three years, according to the Wall Street Journal. Some of the larger companies expected to be hit hard by it have begun lobbying against it, arguing that the fund is little more than a subsidy for companies that don't cover their own employees.
Insurance companies, however, are pushing back, saying the fee is necessary to keep rates stable because they will not be able to turn down people with costly pre-existing conditions when Obamacare is fully implemented next year.
Employers have been trying to get the fee removed for months, but regulations published Monday in the Federal Register left it intact, according to the Journal.
Healthcare experts say employers are likely to pass on at least part of the fee to their workers if it remains unchanged. But for large companies, it could still be a huge cost, the Journal noted.
For example, Chicago-based Boeing, which has asked for a fee exemption, would have to pay out an extra $25 million to insure its 405,000 workers and dependents.
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