Obamacare increases costs, benefit consultant says

I am writing to clarify some information written in Scott Allardice’s article about the Town of Granby’s employee health benefits plan (Report: Granby, town highway workers, could save with ‘Obamacare.’ Valley News, October 16, 2013).

KBM Management recently presented to the Town the renewal of their current health insurance policy for non-union employees, as well as an alternative to the union employee’s plan currently being negotiated with the Teamsters.

Contrary to the wording of the article “Obamacare” will not change the way the Town provides benefits, but will negatively impact the costs associated with the benefits.

The Town’s plan for non-union employees is increasing in cost as mentioned in the article; however, the amounts listed in the article are monthly increases, not annual.

This equates to a family policy increase of $1,680 per year. The Affordable Care Act is helping drive costs higher by imposing additional mandated services, benefit structure changes and taxes that are applied to premium.

The alternative policy proposed by KBM for all employees, both union and non-union, is not a direct effect of the healthcare reform law. This same plan design was proposed three years ago, the last time the union and Town negotiated their employee benefits.  This alternative is KBM’s recommendation to help keep the Town and employee’s costs in check by offsetting the increased premium drivers associated with Obamacare.

Brooks Wright

KBM Management, Inc

Employee Benefit and Risk Management Consulting

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