WASHINGTON – AARP's endorsement helped secure passage of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. Now the seniors' lobby is telling its employees their insurance costs will rise partly as a result of the law.
In an e-mail to employees, AARP says health care premiums will increase by 8 percent to 13 percent next year because of rapidly rising medical costs.
And AARP adds that it's changing copayments and deductibles to avoid a 40 percent tax on high-cost health plans that takes effect in 2018 under the law. Aerospace giant Boeing also has cited the tax in asking its workers to pay more. Shifting costs to employees lowers the value of a health care plan and acts like an escape hatch from the tax.
"Most plan co-pays and deductibles have been modified," Jennifer Hodges, AARP's director of compensation and benefits, wrote employees in an Oct. 25 e-mail. "Plan value changes were necessary not only from a cost management standpoint but also to ensure that AARP's plans fall below the threshold for high-cost group plans under health care reform."
AARP officials said medical inflation is the main reason employee costs will be going up. The health care law is "a small part," said David Certner, legislative affairs director.
Those in the AARP and seniors in general were very skeptical of the healthcare overhaul, especially regarding a potential rise in medical costs, when it was being debated earlier this year, but the AARP leaders told them not to worry. Now, just a few short months since it was passed, those skeptics have been proven right.
Here’s a link to a video where AARP reps were trying to convince their dues-paying members, at a convention in Dallas, that Obamacare is A-OK. As you can imagine, things did not go well.