Medical plans are facing an unexpected new fee. It's to help cover
people with pre-existing conditions under President Obama's health care
The $63-per-head fee -- buried in a recent
regulation -- will hit health plans serving an estimated 190 million
Americans, mostly workers and their families. It's payable starting in
Employers are not happy. The cost of compliance
works out to tens of millions of dollars for the largest companies,
maybe a few hundred for small firms. Most of that will get passed on to
The Obama administration says the money will
cushion health insurance companies from the hard-to-predict costs of
covering uninsured people with pre-existing conditions, so society will
benefit in the long run.
The fee is temporary, raising $25 billion over three years.