Federal guidelines released Friday are demanding that when insurance companies send out premium rebates this summer that they alert customers that the rebates are the result of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare).
Since its passage the Obama Administration has struggled to draw attention to the laws benefits and this shows again that he is trying to do so before the fall elections. The bill faces quite and uncertain future at the moment. The Supreme Court is expected to rule before June whether the law’s individual insurance mandate violates the Constitution. Also, President Obama’s primary challenger for the White House this fall, Mitt Romney, has vowed to repeal the law if elected.
Under The Affordable Care Act insurers are required to spend a certain portion of their premiums on care instead of administrative costs. If they do not they must refund the difference. The nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation has projected refunds would total about $1.3 billion and go to roughly 16 million people who buy their own policies or get them through an employer.
Kaiser estimates checks would range from an average of $72 for those with insurance through a large employer to an average of $127 for those who bought individual policies.
Rules finalized by the Department of Health and Human Services on Friday tell insurers that the following text must be put in a letter to beneficiaries who receive a rebate:
“This letter is to inform you that you will receive a rebate of a portion of your health insurance premiums. This rebate is required by the Affordable Care Act-the health reform law.”
Republicans, while critical of the new rules, do not believe that the letters will sway public opinion.