Thanks to the (oxy)moronic Affordable Health Care and Patient Protection Act (Obamacare), University of Virginia employees will suffer ill, and perhaps unanticipated, financial side effects.
UVa announced today that due to “rising health care costs,” some working spouses will become ineligible for University insurance coverage:
Working spouse provision: Starting Jan. 1, spouses who have access to coverage through their own employer will no longer be eligible for coverage under U.Va.’s plan. Spouses who do not have coverage elsewhere can remain on the employee’s plan, and coverage of children is not affected.
“Rising costs” are cited as the culprit for the spousal (and several other) health coverage policy changes:
In all cases, those costs have marched steadily higher annually. U.Va. anticipates its medical plan costs to rise by about 6.8 percent each year. Total medical claims have increased from $99 million in 2008 to $127 million in 2012, an increase of 28 percent.
The University goes on to blame Obamacare for an anticipated $7 million cost increase next year:
Provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act are projected to add $7.3 million to the cost of the University health plan in 2014 alone. Federal health care reform will create new costs related to the “individual mandate” that requires all Americans to have health care coverage (or pay a penalty).
And, that doesn’t cover the taxes that will punish UVa for its “generous” employee health care offerings:
In future years, U.Va. could face millions more in taxes through the act if the cost of its plans passes certain thresholds.
“Ironically, by providing generous benefits, the University becomes exposed to a federal excise tax known as the ‘Cadillac tax,’” [UVa Vice President and Human Resources Officer, Susan] Carkeek said.
Effective in 2018, the 40 percent tax would apply to the cost of an individual plan with average premiums per employee topping $10,200, or $27,500 for a family plan.
If the University made no changes to address rising costs or the impact of the Affordable Care Act, employee premiums would have risen a projected 12 percent to 13 percent this year.
But wait; didn’t the University of Virginia support Obamacare?
Yes. In fact, they went all-out (on a limb). On March 19, 2010, Sally N. Barber, Special Advisor to the Medical Center CEO released publicly a letter to then Congressman, Tom Perriello, endorsing the Democrats’ health care proposal:
“I am writing on behalf of the University of Virginia Medical Center to indicate our support of the health reform package pending before the House because we believe providing affordable health coverage for more citizens of the Commonwealth is critical.” [emphasis added]
Sally Barber and The University of Virginia could not have been more wrong—or more shortsighted.
Sally Barber and The University of Virginia should be profoundly ashamed and profusely apologetic—but they’re not.
Meddling in politics (and bedding down with Marxists) is certain to produce disastrous results for state-sponsored institutions like UVa. But sadly, the administrators and politicians who furthered the sham now known as Obamacare are nowhere to be found. And, the hapless University of Virginia employee is left pick up the shattered pieces and pay the exorbitant price of institutional crony socialism.