IBJNews

Some states suing feds also claim health subsidies

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Some states suing to toss out President Barack Obama's health care overhaul law are also lining up to claim a share of its subsidies for the medical costs of retired employees.

An administration official said Tuesday that seven states suing the federal government are among 16 already approved for subsidies to help with the health care costs of early retirees. The seven are Arizona, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska and Nevada. The official spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of Tuesday's official announcement.

About 2,000 employers have been approved for the extra help, mainly private businesses. More applications are pending. Interested employers include about half the Fortune 500 companies, as well as state and local governments, educational institutions, unions and nonprofit organizations.

The health care law provides $5 billion to help employers maintain coverage for early retirees, those age 55 and older but not yet eligible for Medicare.

The government subsidy amounts to 80 percent of medical claims between $15,000 and $90,000—significant assistance to help cover high-cost retirees and eligible family members.

Companies can use the federal money to lower their own costs, or pass on the savings to their retirees through lower premiums and reduced cost sharing. Firms that receive federal help have to formally notify their retirees that they've gotten a subsidy.

As medical costs soared in the last 20 years, employers have dramatically scaled back retiree health coverage. The share of large companies providing the benefit dropped from 66 percent in 1988 to 29 percent last year.

The retiree assistance in the health care law is designed as temporary relief until the legislation is fully in place. The payments will stop in 2014, when the law calls for competitive insurance markets to open, and eligible individuals can get government tax credits to help pay premiums.

States are suing the government over the constitutionality of forcing people buy health insurance.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. The east side does have potential...and I have always thought Washington Scare should become an outlet mall. Anyone remember how popular Eastgate was? Well, Indy has no outlet malls, we have to go to Edinburgh for the deep discounts and I don't understand why. Jim is right. We need a few good eastsiders interested in actually making some noise and trying to change the commerce, culture and stereotypes of the East side. Irvington is very progressive and making great strides, why can't the far east side ride on their coat tails to make some changes?

  2. Boston.com has an article from 2010 where they talk about how Interactions moved to Massachusetts in the year prior. http://www.boston.com/business/technology/innoeco/2010/07/interactions_banks_63_million.html The article includes a link back to that Inside Indiana Business press release I linked to earlier, snarkily noting, "Guess this 2006 plan to create 200-plus new jobs in Indiana didn't exactly work out."

  3. I live on the east side and I have read all your comments. a local paper just did an article on Washington square mall with just as many comments and concerns. I am not sure if they are still around, but there was an east side coalition with good intentions to do good things on the east side. And there is a facebook post that called my eastside indy with many old members of the eastside who voice concerns about the east side of the city. We need to come together and not just complain and moan, but come up with actual concrete solutions, because what Dal said is very very true- the eastside could be a goldmine in the right hands. But if anyone is going damn, and change things, it is us eastside residents

  4. Please go back re-read your economics text book and the fine print on the February 2014 CBO report. A minimum wage increase has never resulted in a net job loss...

  5. The GOP at the Statehouse is more interested in PR to keep their majority, than using it to get anything good actually done. The State continues its downward spiral.

ADVERTISEMENT