State Employees Insurance Board foresees problems with the Affordable Care Act
Alabama is facing a serious “fiscal cliff,” according to William Ashmore, CEO of the State Employees Insurance Board. Ashmore’s concerns largely revolve around the Affordable Care Act and what impact it may have on the health insurance being provided to employees of the state. Next year, the law is expected to enact new changes to the health insurance market, with some of those changes targeting the health insurance plans of state workers. These changes are expected to bring about a financial problem that the state must grapple with, which is likely to be augmented by the rising cost of medical care.
Organization seeks $66 million in government funding
The State Employees Insurance Board is seeking $66 million from the Alabama government to prepare for the financial impact of the Affordable Care Act. The organization, which oversees state and municipal government health insurance plans, has already received some $300 million in appropriations from the government for this year. The group hopes to receive more financial backing in order to ensure that state worker health insurance plans remain viable for employees and adaptive to the market.
New insurance mandates could make coverage more expensive
The Affordable Care Act is introducing a wide variety of mandates that will affect the insurance market. These mandates account for $17 million that is not being covered by the federal government. The money that is needed to enact these mandates will be coming from Alabama taxpayers instead, as well as from the funds the state government has set aside for such an occasion. The State Employees Insurance Board suggests that some of these mandates, such as the removal of the cap on medical benefits for catastrophic illnesses and preventative procedures with no co-pays, could make health insurance coverage more expensive for state workers.
State Employees Insurance Board seeking solution with Alabama legislators
The State Employees Insurance Board is currently in negotiations with Alabama lawmakers to develop a funding strategy for the health insurance plans it offers state workers. Without an adequate plan in place, the organization expects that workers will face significantly higher costs for their health insurance plans while also enjoying lackluster benefits.