Monday, November 16, 2009

The UUA Plan and Pelosi Care

I'm assuming this UUA Plan is going to turn out to be more expensive then the Gov Option, as will most Church's plans --if even available after reform-- so our Clergy and staff will be some of the first into the Government Option unless Churches chose to go beyond the 8% of salary costs (or whatever the threshold becomes).

I'd be worried. Especially if over 50.

12 comments:

Chalicechick said...

If the UUA is offering what seems like a nicer-than-most health care plan now, I don't see why they would automatically put their employees on the government plan if one were to pass.

Seems to me that they would keep having a nicer-than-most plan barring a big reason not to.

Bill Baar said...

Depends on the Congregations budget I would think.... and the generosity of the Congregation.

There are 2k pages in this bill and I have no idea what the small print holds for Churches, but I'm guessing the financial incentive would drive staff into the Gov Plan.

Chalicechick said...

Then why aren't they following the financial incentive and going with a cheaper plan now?

Bill Baar said...

Because there is no Gov Plan at the moment to undercut private insurance.

As a footnote, I'm guessing a Pelosi care plan would drive smallish health care plans like the UUA's out of business all together.

I'm guessing the Gov Plan will be the only option for small organizations.

Bill Baar said...

PS I'll try and do a little research tonight on it and see what people who deal with Church Administration are saying on it.

Chalicechick said...

(((Because there is no Gov Plan at the moment to undercut private insurance. )))

But there are plenty of cheaper plans right now.

I promise you, given that the UUA is covering things like gender reassignment surgery that almost nobody else is covering, they are paying a LOT more per person than the average insurance plan costs now, to say nothing of the cheap ones.

To say that the UUA will suddenly dump the expensive fancy plan for a government plan that doesn't cover the things they want to cover makes no sense at all given that they could dump the plan for a much cheaper plan right this second.

This is another one of your dark predictions that won't come true.

CC

Bill Baar said...

I promise you, given that the UUA is covering things like gender reassignment surgery that almost nobody else is covering...

Exactly, so if the Health Exchange Commissioner disqualifies the UUA plan for offering procedures outside the defined benefits package, Churches won't be able to buy it anyways.

I have more questions than answers, and maybe the answers are buried in the bill...

...but after being a Medicare and Medicaid auditor, I'm not optimistic about the implementation of this one.

I think the incentive to Insurance Plans is going to be as contractors administering this program, not as insurers bearing the risks for small niche markets.

But that's intution....

Bill Baar said...

Footnote: Gender Reassignment going the route of Abortion in this plan. If the Feds don't approve it, it's not part of the Universal Health Care plan. UUA gets on board with that, or no insurance.

Chalicechick said...

My understanding is that employers will always have the option of providing insurance that goes beyond the health insurance offered in the fairly minimal government plans. (Much like many employers in the UK and Canada exercise that option)

Since the UUA is already going beyond what most employees expect, I can't imagine that they won't continue to do so and have no idea what the basis of your accusations is.

Bill Baar said...

....as I mull this over.

Lets just consider abortion, and it would seem abortion would disqualify the UUA plan as a Qualified Health Benefits Plan uner HR3962.

If a Congregation purchases the UUA plan for Minister and Staff, the Church is out-of-compliance and faces the 8% penalty. But lets assume the total salary costs are under $500K there for exempting the Church from the penalty.

Minister and Staff are still stuck though w/o a QHBP and therefore face fines and imprisonment unless they go to the Health Exchange and purchase a QHBP.

I think there is going to be a powerful financial incentive for congregations with payrolls under $300k to just over a pay raise and send staff to the Exchange.

What am I missing here?

You'd think someone at UUA or the Districts would have mulled this one over.... and could connect a few dots year although admittedly this is a formidable bill to wade through.

Bill Baar said...

Yes CC, but if the congregation, especially if salary costs under $500k, faces no penalty for NOT offering insurance, there is a financial incentive to raise salaries perhapes and send Minister/Staff to the exchange to purchase insurance on their own.

The UUA plan may or may not be one of the QHBPs offered at the exchange.

Even if the UUA plan qualifies (and I think the Exchange has the right to decide what will NOT be allowed in a plan e.g. abortion) there is still a financial incentive for Congregations to send Minister/Staff to the exchange.

That's really the calculation I see playing out.

Bill Baar said...

You'd think someone at UUA or the Districts would have mulled this one over.... and could connect a few dots HERE although admittedly this is a formidable bill to wade through.

sorry...spell check HELL...and the threshold for small biz to avoid fine is $500k I believe...

...now whether a Church will be considered a small biz I don't know.

The only specific reference I find to Churches is the inclusion of Church Plans as QHBPs...assuming I would think the meet the rest of the criterial QHBPs must meet.