Premium tax would hike health-insurance costs

Premium tax would hike health-insurance costs

Why? Because Congress wants to levy a .7 billion premium tax on all private health plans each year for the next decade to pay for reform.

That’s a billion tax.

Health plans will have no choice but to pass these costs on to the consumer. This tax will make it tougher for families to afford coverage, increase the difficulty for small-business owners trying hard to insure workers, and stifle job creation.

In Florida, small businesses are the bedrock of our economy. This tax will hit our economy especially hard. It’s just not what families and small businesses need as they dig their way out of a severe recession.

The Congressional Budget Office evaluated this tax and found it will lead to “higher premiums for private coverage.” The nonpartisan CBO estimated that premiums for individual coverage could rise by as much as 13 percent.

This tax also might be disruptive to policyholders, because it could damage the ability of health plans to deliver all the benefits that members expect.

That’s because Congress is ready to impose this health-insurance tax in 2010. That’s after families have already signed up for coverage for next year, and after small businesses have already negotiated coverage contracts.

The result? Health plans may not receive enough premium to cover the costs of the massive tax, and benefits might suffer.

Unfortunately, health plans have been demonized in