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12/3/2013 6:02:00 AM
Mohave County may dump insurance because of health care law's requirements
Employees would go to health care exchanges

Kim Steele
Miner Staff Reporter


KINGMAN - Mohave County employees may face drastic changes in January that could force them to pay for their own health care benefits.

The Mohave County Board of Supervisors began considering the possibility Monday after hearing an hour-long presentation about the impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on the county from Erin P. Collins, president of Erin P. Collins & Associates, Inc., in Kingman. The company serves as an employee benefit consultant to Mohave County.

"We brought this up because obviously we're concerned about our employees and feel they need to know something for the future," said Supervisor Buster Johnson, District 3. "I don't know how the other Board members feel, but I think it would be good to let our employees know that we could be without insurance soon through no fault of the Board. It's just a money decision."

Because of taxes, fees and penalties on employers that begin taking effect in 2014 and continue through 2018, said Collins, the benefit plan now costing Mohave County about $13 million annually for about 1,000 full-time employees will add up to more in expenses, although that amount isn't known yet.

Collins agreed with the Board that it would be more advantageous to pay a penalty of $2,000 per full-time employee, or about $2 million, to dump the plan and send employees to the federal health care exchange to purchase their own insurance.

County employees currently pay varying amounts for their insurance based on how many in their families are insured. Under the ACA, health care costs are deductible on taxes when they reach 10 percent of an employee's adjusted gross income, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

"In my 20-something years of consulting, I've never seen anything as complex as the Affordable Care Act," said Collins. "So far it's manageable for the county. But what it's done is create an employer incentive to try to figure out how to delay and dodge the mandates just to keep the costs under control. At the end of the day, every employer in the nation is going to have to make a decision, particularly when the penalties and taxes start flying, of whether it's better just to put everyone into the exchange."

So far, said Collins, one regional company has done just that. Tropicana Las Vegas recently dumped its health care benefit plan for employees and sent them to the federal exchange because the federal law is too complex and costly, said Collins.

Supervisor Hildy Angius, District 2, asked Collins if Mohave County could provide employees with a subsidy if it chose the same route so they could afford their own insurance, but was told the county couldn't monitor how a subsidy was spent and it would be taxed as income.

Some county employees may qualify for federal subsidies through the federal exchange, depending on their income. Subsidies are available for those who make up to 400 percent of federal poverty level, or $44,680 for a single person and $92,000 for a family.

Supervisor Steven Moss, District 5, listened intently as Collins described how the county must monitor each employee's hours regularly to make sure they meet the qualifications of full-time employees, who must work 30 or more hours a week.

"I have to apologize to our employees because I am looking at this and it would be far too costly for the county to monitor something like that, let alone provide insurance coverage with all these taxes, fees and penalties," said Moss.

ICT - Hummingbead of Kingman
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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Article comment by: mr. parker

What happened here? This was an article about the County having to comply with the 0bamacare monstrosity.

Instead, it devolved into a blame the Supervisors, who had nothing to do with the implementation of that monstrosity.

Why should Mohave County employees be any different from many other private and public sector employees across the US who lost their coverage. 6,000,000 strong and growing!

Before His Majesty left on his Royal Hawaiian vacation, he said that it would be OK for people who lost their terrible junk insurance plans to keep them for one year. Great, the insurance companies trying to comply with this monstrosity for the past 3 years, now have to retrofit their systems. It ain't gonna happen.

Now the next step will be for King Barack to write another check from the Bank of China to bailout BIG INSURANCE.

What do Mayo Clinic, ClevelandClinic and Cedars Sinai among others have in common? They won't be taking 0bamacare.

Yes, with increasing premiums, higher deductibles and out of pocket expenses along with fewer hospitals and doctors to choose from, 0bamacare is just what you expect from this lying failure of a president.

I guarantee it will be a long time before democrats are allowed to touch healthcare again. Looking forward to November.


Posted: Sunday, December 8, 2013
Article comment by: James Lee

Me & My wife have been on V.A care in Las Vegas about 11 yrs.We have no complaints.I was told some big stores are offering there employes better Insurances in 2014.I would think that the County can also offer another Insurance plan to there employs.

Posted: Sunday, December 8, 2013
Article comment by: TRUST Now thats funny!

Hildy and trust in the same sentence. Now thats funny!

Posted: Sunday, December 8, 2013
Article comment by: anonymous anonymous

Health insurance one day will be government run like VA medical care and many will whine, cry foul, swear the sun is falling in the sky, world is coming to a end tomorrow like they did when FDR created social security, etc., but fact is the world will not come to a end until God decides and it will have nothing to do with social security, socialized medicine, etc., imagine the unhappy junk health care insurance sales persons now unable to sell junk policies, having to really work now selling a real policy one can use when they need it instead of selling them junk cheap premium policies worthless when one needs it! They do have a pal in the game their employers!

Posted: Saturday, December 7, 2013
Article comment by: Not a way to keep employees

I do not work for the county but to work for a government agency and what I do know, is that none of these employees will qualify for AHCCCS, they are over income.

The sad part is that the amount they pay will in all cases at least double and in some case triple. I went on and checked for myself, my insurance premiums would more then double AND the plan would not be as good as what I have now!!!!

The medical insurance provided as part of their employment packages is "sold" to them as a benefit of a specific dollar amount, meaning the county pays $3500.00 per year for your insurance so your TOTAL COMPENSATION (wages + benefits) is X amount per year.

If he county had to pay the difference to the employee, I'm sure they would find an insurance plan that works.

They made it complex so that employers would roll over and force their employees on to the exchange,.

It is criminal what is happening.


Posted: Saturday, December 7, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

"And now we will hear from the usual suspects with more hyperbole."

Speaking of hyperbole and obamacare, are you ready to give everyone the "source of fact" for your ridiculous claim of Oct 4 that "millions of Americans are signing up" for obamacare.

I would think you would have realized the question is not going away.....EVER. I will use is against you each and every time you question anyone elses claims or anytime you are stupid enough to use the word hyperbole when describing anyone elses comments.

It will all end as soon as you put up the prrof for your Oct. 4 claim or you finally admit you lied and made it up.

LOL


Posted: Friday, December 6, 2013
Article comment by: Uncle Anson

V Stokes
I was a defense counsel for Courts Martial. As to the matter of the potus you are categorically incorrect and comparing me to Tom Cruise is mocking and childish on your part. Please act like the intelligent adult you would claim to be. I care to not engage on further discussion concerning your uneducated opinion of what you obviously know not. Have a nice day


Posted: Friday, December 6, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

" Our healthcare system is rampant with fraud and deception."

Is SSDI part of the healthcare system? I mean people get it because of a alleged medical condition.

You should look at the figures the govt. puts out on the high percentage of SSDI claims that are fraudulent. I would be willing to bet that the average in this county is higher than the national average for fraud.

Hey, aren't you on SSDI?

LOL


Posted: Friday, December 6, 2013
Article comment by: V Stokes

"The President may delegate any authority vested in him under this chapter, and provide for sub delegation of any such authority."

Oh yeah, that confirms it...not. Odd how every reliable source says that the Pres is subject to civil law, not military.

"a defense council for Courts Martial...", so was Tom Cruise.


Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013
Article comment by: Uncle Anson

V Stokes-
Please refer to Article 140 of the UCMJ. The President is subject to the UCMJ. There are numerous other Articles that place the CIC aka President under the arm of the UCMJ. I served as a defense council for Courts Martial in the US Army. Trust me, it applies.

.


Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

"....for the slaughter of Syrian children."

Just out of curiosity exacltly when did President Obama go to Syria and slaughter children? Rough question I know, but please make an attempt at providing the date. Thank you.


Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013
Article comment by: V Stokes

"The UCMJ applies to this man as CIC."
No, it does not. Read Article 2 of the UCMJ. Now, if he were in the Reserves somehow or Retired, maybe, if the acts were committed when active. But since those are not true, he is no more under the UCMJ than the SecDef or a Senator.


Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013
Article comment by: pl .....

actually, I would like to hear from someone with precise answers here on the topic of whether Barack Hussein Obama could be hauled out of the White House in handcuffs, placed in the back of a C130, and put on trial at the Hague, for the slaughter of Syrian children. This should result in the death penalty, which brings another question - would they hang Obama, and if so, where? To quote this fraud and criminal, "you think I'm kidding". I'm not.

Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013
Article comment by: Frederick Williams

I don't know what all the hoop la is all about. If the County Employees benefits meet the A.C.A requirements, and I am sure they do, there will be no problem at all. As for the President being impeached. "Dream on"

Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013
Article comment by: Worker Bee

I am an employee and did some research on ACA the coverage stinks & if forced to pay the price given on the site I will have to quit. I will have to quit because I make too much for any “subsidies/assistance” yet barely make it on my wage now. All county employees pay each check for benefits & in comparison to the ACA it is almost 3x's what I pay now w/a 30% higher deductible. I don't believe that EVERY person is entitled to ins. @ the cost of forcing others to pay. Talk to any person @ the hospital, many abuse the system for drugs and the cost is pushed off to those who work hard w/nothing given to them. I have worked min. wage, put myself through school to get a better job w/ benefits & retirement & provide a better life for my kids. @ the rate things are going, what's the point in my degree when I would be better off living off the government handouts? For now employees are safe, if the board decides to do away w/benefits, will that $11 mill. in savings be given to us w/substantial raises so we won't be living in vehicles? We worked hard @ the county to rise above the min. wage jobs that are the majority of our job market, most came benefits. Repeat, what's the point in working hard to be forced to pay for others who can't provide better for themselves?



Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013
Article comment by: Fed up

@ Waste them tax dollars - Yup, taxes sure are a waste aren't they? Let's see... you're the first one to call the fire dept. when your house is on fire you're the first one to call the police or sheriff when someone's breaking into your house you're the first one to call Animal Control when those dogs are attacking you or your children you're the first one to call the county when there's a "shack" being bootlegged in next door to you. Yup, sure is a waste isn't it? But then....... who you gonna call?

Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013
Article comment by: More republican stupidity

In other words the County has allowed its employees to be denied coverage for pre existiung conditions etc. for all these years! WHen an intelligent man like Obama says screw you , your not going to rip off the employees covered by insurance companies who don't take care of its clients appropriately the county plays the republican money fun game on its employees. Must need a new building that is always empty just like all the others. Collins says: "In my 20-something years of consulting, I've never seen anything as complex as the Affordable Care Act," said Collins.Collins " If this guy cant take the time or brain power to understand the program as so many others have GET RID OF HIM and get someone that can do the job.

Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013
Article comment by: Lake Mead City

If the employees had representation, i.e. a union, then they would be working under a MOU (Memorandum of Understanding). During the bargaining (negotiations) any amount of money it cost per employee for Medical Insurance is converted directly to their hourly wage compensation package offer by the County. Any change of benefits would require the County to reimburse the employee an equal amount in wages............OOOH your not represented by a Local Union or a MOU (contract),... your in a bind.

Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“AN-Yes your potus should be impeached.”

No, there is no reason to impeach OUR president. If there was such a thing some goofy Republiscum would have put forth impeachment papers in the sadly pathetic House of Representatives – and in the process make them look as stupid as that ignorant group that impeached (and failed to get a conviction) President Clinton.

”AN, your man won now live with it…”

I am very pleased to be living with it after the horrendous eight year fiasco of the only convicted criminal to ever be appointed to the White House.

“The people have spoken.”

Yes, they did by voting in – by large margins – Obama – TWICE!


Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013
Article comment by: Last Straw

I once read that if you provide a service you should treat your customers like kings and queens.When you can no longer provide that service by yourself, treat your employees like kings and queens. They haven't had a raise in years. Now this?

Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013
Article comment by: Long Time

@ Steven Moss Esq. if you check Mr Collins resume from the 80s, You will find your delusion about him being some sort " knight in shining armor" will be greatly diminished.Do the right thing for the people that elected you treat your employees good,your constituents better and concentrate on repairing the county's delapated roadways, Not newer better buildings, I think I speak for everyone when I say I'm fed up with these horrible roads!

Posted: Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Article comment by: Uncle Anson

AN-
Yes your potus should be impeached.

The UCMJ applies to this man as CIC. He has committed several offenses punishable by Courts Martial. Among them lying to the American Public, and dereliction of duty. Lying is conduct unbecoming you can keep your insurance, derilectipn of duty is the failed ACA web site. Both are General Courts Martial offenses. AN, your man won now live with it.and by the way 39% approval and 56% disapproval. The people have spoken. Have a nive day


Posted: Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Article comment by: WHAT Kind of crazy is this? #2

RE: Where is this money Going?
Good question. Probably a new county building!
RE: Tinker Toys
From what I’ve heard so far. They already are!
Finally, is this an indication of how the BOS will treat their citizens? I think it is! ‘Let them eat cake!’ Well, thanks!


Posted: Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Article comment by: WHAT Kind of crazy is this?

RE: Patty Flapjacks
Can’t grown my own food. Can’t afford the sewer fee!
RE: Anson’s Nephew
You mean ‘Hyperbole’ by the usual suspects like you?
RE: Forget Reason
100% correct
RE: Someone in Arizona
Right ON!
RE: Edward Tomchin
Drink some more of that Kool-Aid, You have obviously worked for some shady characters in the past. Get it?
RE: Something Fishy
Good Point!
RE: BOS is making a huge mistake
100% agree
RE: Jim Harper
100% agree
RE: County Employee
100% agree
RE: Just one County Employee
Everyone who works for the County I know has said the same thing!
RE: Reality Check
100% correct
RE: Jake the Snake
100% correct
RE: Just sayin
Misery always loves company. Just sayin!
RE: Fair and Wayfair
Them and everyone else, including those on Medicare should be!
RE: L Smith
100% percent correct!
RE: Michelle Lee
Employees for the most part can’t get AHCC’s! They WORK! Their compensation for not getting paid enough for working for government was that they would have health care! NOW they are being told that that compensation is in jeopardy! Do you understand this?


Posted: Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Article comment by: Waste them tax dollars.....

Holy tax dollar waste batman! $13 million dollars divided by 1000 employees = $13,000 annually per employee..... for health insurance? That must be some pretty good insurance that we are paying for. Maybe the county should hire healthier employees?

At least the special employees that were rewarded with the big raises under the county managers reclassification program earlier this year will be able to afford their own insurance. The rest of you are screwed.



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