Friday, July 19, 2013

Obamacare Rebates Coming This Summer?

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on the Affordable Care Act's Medical Loss Ratio Refunds, in the East Room of the White House, July 18, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- During a speech yesterday in the East Room of the White House, President Obama said “last year, millions of Americans opened letters from their insurance companies -- but instead of the usual dread that comes from getting a bill they were pleasantly surprised with a check.  In 2012, 13 million rebates went out, in all 50 states. Another 8.5 million rebates are being sent out this summer, averaging around 100 bucks each."

But unless you purchased insurance on your own, don't expect a check in the mail.  That's because insurance companies will send most of rebates to the group policyholder (usually the employer) through lower premiums or in other ways that are not taxable, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services' Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight.

When the employer is the policyholder, the company must ensure that the rebate is used for the benefit of subscribers (employees).  The insurance company is required to notify both enrollees (often employees) and the group policyholder (often employers) notice of the rebates.

Nationwide, $504 million in total Obamacare rebates will be issued.  Of that amount, $192 million is going to those who purchased through an individual market while $203 million will go to holders of small group policies and $108 million to large group policies.

Florida will receive $54 million in total Obamacare rebates with $39 million of that amount going to individual market policyholders.  Just $13 million will go to small group policies and only $1.4 million will go to large group policies.