Surprise: New Insurance Fee in PPACA

The charge, buried in a recent regulation, works out to tens of millions of dollars for the largest companies, employers say.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Your medical plan is facing an unexpected expense, so you probably are, too. It's a new, $63-per-head fee to cushion the cost of covering people with pre-existing conditions under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

The charge, buried in a recent regulation, works out to tens of millions of dollars for the largest companies, employers say. Most of that is likely to be passed on to workers.

But the insurance fee had been overlooked as employers focused on other costs in the law, including fines for medium and large firms that don't provide coverage.

"This kind of came out of the blue and was a surprisingly large amount," said Gretchen Young, senior vice president for health policy at the ERISA Industry Committee, a group that represents large employers on benefits issues.

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