Videos: Mayo Clinic employees get benefit cuts, cost hikes after ObamaCare

posted at 2:01 pm on February 3, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

And needless to say, they’re not happy about it. The premiere health-care provider network and big Minnesota employer will have to cut benefits for its own employees, in part to comply with ObamaCare’s coverage mandates and in part to deal with exploding insurance premiums under the new law. First came the announcement last Friday that the changes would hit in 2015, after the employer mandates kick into force, KTTC reported:

The CEO of Mayo Clinics tried to explain why this was necessary, but any economist could explain that much. When you penalize so-called “Cadillac” health plans and force insurers to absorb more risk, coverage will get reduced and prices will go up:

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“For folks that use no medical care beyond primary care visits and preventative services, their premiums could go down, or stay the same,” Nesse said. “But folks who need more care will be responsible for more of the cost of that care.”

That’s bad news for folks who have diseases like diabetes.

We could not find any Mayo employee willing to speak on camera, but one who spoke with us anonymously says the cost of his insulin copay has more than doubled just this year.

He says he and other diabetic Mayo retirees have had to stop taking some of their medication. He fears the changes in 2015 will make it even more expensive.

We’ve featured a lot of videos of people discovering just how much disruption ObamaCare has caused, but this has another aspect to it. The others talk about rising costs now, but this one shows that companies have already begun planning for the employer mandate that takes effect in January 2015. The White House put off enforcement of that part of ObamaCare until mid-November, which would put it past the midterms, but that’s not going to fool anyone. Businesses seeing the impact of current disruptions and the mandate’s enforcement will start adapting long before the due date. Mayo is just getting way ahead of the curve; many employers will wait until late summer to roll out these changes and price hikes, or announce that they’re dropping coverage altogether and sending their employees into the ObamaCare exchanges.

That’s going to make a lot of people angry — just as they prepare to walk into the voting booths.


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Waiting for the Poser to intervene one more time…cause his union buddies are next…

lovingmyUSA on February 3, 2014 at 2:05 PM

If the Country has any semblance of smarts left, 2014 should be interesting.

Bmore on February 3, 2014 at 2:05 PM

Give me Ham on five and hold the Mayo.

Flange on February 3, 2014 at 2:07 PM

The hospital I worked for started rolling out changes during the 2013 benefit year. The package was much worse from the employee’s standpoint for 2014 (max out of pocket + premiums for a family plan went from around $8K to over $14K), and I hate to think what they’ll do to folks for 2015. Since I was downsized, that particular set of plans isn’t my problem any more, but I’m sure I’ll see something like this in any new job I get, assuming they even bother offering insurance. Given that the fine is so much lower per employee than the insurance in most cases, I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot more folks on the exchanges next year.

LibraryGryffon on February 3, 2014 at 2:11 PM

If the Country has any semblance of smarts left, 2014 should be interesting.

Bmore on February 3, 2014 at 2:05 PM

Aren’t you the optimistic one…

Over50 on February 3, 2014 at 2:13 PM

@PolAgnostic

#Obamacare – proving anyone who voted for Barack Obama was going to get EXACTLY what they deserved. #LessCoverage #HigherCosts #MorePain

PolAgnostic on February 3, 2014 at 2:13 PM

I should add that by premiums I mean the employee’s share of them, and that was less than 20% of the actual premiums. I suspect the POS plan they offered for 2014 is a Cadillac plan, so it will disappear by next year, leaving only the HDI/HSA plan which you can’t enroll in if you are covered by anything else (such as a your’s or a spouse’s Tricare).

LibraryGryffon on February 3, 2014 at 2:14 PM

Who’s to say Obama won’t postpone the employer mandate for another six months to get past the midterms and potentially save the Senate majority? Would anyone put it past him? Anyone? Bueller? It’ll happen. Just watch.

JoeShmoe99 on February 3, 2014 at 2:17 PM

Businesses seeing the impact of current disruptions and the mandate’s enforcement will start adapting long before the due date.


Embrace the suck?

We haven’t gotten to the SUCK yet.

Harbinger of the SUCK: Friend at our Super Bowl party yesterday was telling us his sister’s employer just canceled their company health plan

… and the cheapest Obamacare plan is going to net out at $ 200 per month MORE with a deductible of THREE times her current plan for their family.

They CAN’T afford the extra $ 200 per month.

So they will just be LOSING health insurance.

Obamacare – How long till the DEMOCRATS in the House and the Senate march on the White House with torches and pitchforks?

PolAgnostic on February 3, 2014 at 2:17 PM

Waiting for the Poser to intervene one more time…cause his union buddies are next…

lovingmyUSA on February 3, 2014 at 2:05 PM

The most interesting part of the union situation is that the vig is going to be cut.

oldroy on February 3, 2014 at 2:18 PM

That’s going to make a lot of people angry — just as they prepare to walk into the voting booths.

…and vote like morons again.

Sheeple don’t change.

Angry.Moronic.Sheeple…..what America has become.

MichaelGabriel on February 3, 2014 at 2:19 PM

But the Lefties say that Obamacare has turned the corner.

Cindy Munford on February 3, 2014 at 2:20 PM

My company is self-insured and I still think we’ll be impacted by more than price increases.

Democrats showed just how out of touch they were with running a business by moving a deadline a few weeks. They assume since they do no long term planning nobody else does.

What a clusterfark.

SteveInRTP on February 3, 2014 at 2:21 PM

Quick, let’s talk about amnesty! No sense in discussing obamacare and tapping into voter anger, right GOP?

Jack_Burton on February 3, 2014 at 2:22 PM

Wait for it! King Barack will declare an ‘extension’ until after the 2016 election cycle is over.

GarandFan on February 3, 2014 at 2:23 PM

Who’s to say Obama won’t postpone the employer mandate for another six months to get past the midterms and potentially save the Senate majority? Would anyone put it past him? Anyone? Bueller? It’ll happen. Just watch.

JoeShmoe99 on February 3, 2014 at 2:17 PM

Read more …

Obamacare effectively incentivizes businesses to drop employer provided health care which is why many businesses are ALREADY dropping plans … RIGHT NOW.

The only thing that will help the Democrats in November is IMPEACHING & CONVICTING Obama THEMSELVES by summer.

Businesses, meanwhile, will just continue to move to maximize their profits for whenever Obamacare becomes effective – because most businesses HATE the hassles providing health insurances causes them.

PolAgnostic on February 3, 2014 at 2:24 PM

But you’re sure they all lied…”Obama/Hillary/their surrogates”…
at least pick one specific alleged liar and one specific alleged lie and share the proof for that?
 
verbaluce on February 3, 2014 at 1:21 PM

rogerb on February 3, 2014 at 2:24 PM

Since I was downsized, that particular set of plans isn’t my problem any more, but I’m sure I’ll see something like this in any new job I get, assuming they even bother offering insurance.
LibraryGryffon on February 3, 2014 at 2:11 PM

Welcome to the downsized club. I noticed when looking at the jobs available that in quite a few they say up front that they don’t provide health insurance. I expect that a lot of companies will be dropping coverage withing the next couple of years.

Dr. Frank Enstine on February 3, 2014 at 2:25 PM

John Boehner doesn’t think this is the fight Republicans should pick.

MTF on February 3, 2014 at 2:30 PM

I always thought this would happen. I do not understand the delay because it caused the decisions to be made right before the 2014 elections. If these people think these business would wait until January to make modifications to their benefits, they know even less about the private sector than we thought. And businesses have all the incentives to make the decisions sooner rather than later, even dropping benefits, before the mandate kicks in, to adjust more easily. Pain and suffering all around.

ojfltx on February 3, 2014 at 2:30 PM

I work for a medium sized hospital. Up until this year, we had excellent health benefits: $25 copay, only $100 coinsurance for in- or out-patient surgery, etc.

Due to the Cadillac tax, they cancelled that plan. This year our best option has a $40 copay and $2500 deductible. Thanks, Dems.

jeanneb on February 3, 2014 at 2:31 PM

You voted for obummer and his plan MN, you are now owning it.

jake49 on February 3, 2014 at 2:32 PM

Agreed with y’all he’ll make another lawless extension…lsm WK continue to sweep this under the rug

cmsinaz on February 3, 2014 at 2:32 PM

The White House put off enforcement of that part of ObamaCare until mid-November, which would put it past the midterms, but that’s not going to fool anyone. Businesses seeing the impact of current disruptions and the mandate’s enforcement will start adapting long before the due date.

Most large companies are planning two or three years out for expenses like Employee health Care and payroll because they are the largest expenses most companies have. Delaying the mandate for a few months will make ZERO difference to their planning and will not hide anything from voters during the November elections.

Johnnyreb on February 3, 2014 at 2:35 PM

Dr. Frank Enstine on February 3, 2014 at 2:25 PM

I saw that on another thread, My commiserations, and hope that your job hunt is going better than mine. There is nothing within commuting distance of the house in my field which is full time. There isn’t much which I’m qualified for (without being “overqualified”) within commuting distance which pays me more than unemployment, but I’m already 1/3 of the way through that. Because of the house and the kids we’re not in a position to just pick up and move at the drop of a hat.

At least we have Tricare, which currently has lower max-out-of-pockets than almost any other plan out there. So I’m taking advantage of my freer schedule to get stuff done, like having my deviated septum repaired so that maybe I can breath normally for the first time in decades.

LibraryGryffon on February 3, 2014 at 2:37 PM

ObamaCare bringing equality across the land.

gwelf on February 3, 2014 at 2:38 PM

jeanneb on February 3, 2014 at 2:31 PM

That sounds as bad as the plans at the place where I no longer work, though I think the in-house deductible was only around $1K for the family; in network was higher, and out of network was the $2,500.

LibraryGryffon on February 3, 2014 at 2:39 PM

My only wish is that these enlightened employees smugly voted for the haloed one.

Don L on February 3, 2014 at 2:39 PM

But the Lefties say that Obamacare has turned the corner.

Cindy Munford on February 3, 2014 at 2:20 PM

These would be the same Lefties who also believe in Global Warming despite:

1) 17 years of no warming

2) NONE of the “global models” include cloud formation processes and their actual causes (i.e. gamma radiation from the rest of the universe is considered to be the primary factor by scientists whose studies are not limited to “global warming”).

3) The planetary computer model “resolves” the variables down to the few thousand the scientists who formulated the Global Warming tTheory WANTED to use. (This is way past junk science – this is “you should be banned from the field” science.)

4) We are 10 – 20 years away from having the computer hardware capable of running a realistic computer model that includes the planet Earth as part of the universe it functions within.

5) Most Liberals/Progressives can’t do long division in their head BUT will hold forth for hours spewing non-factual arguments regarding the weather measurements, computer models, hardware and irrelevance of the universe in calculating how the planet Earth functions. Fact: Your Art History degree does NOT qualify you to discuss PHYSICS (especially since you NEVER took a single high school level or higher course on the subject)

PolAgnostic on February 3, 2014 at 2:41 PM

Over50 on February 3, 2014 at 2:13 PM

Lolz! Too much so in the past I’m sorry to say. I used to truly believe folks, US citizens, were smart enough to get out of their own way. Not turning into a cynic just yet however. ; )

Bmore on February 3, 2014 at 2:44 PM

Good. I have no sadness for these people. The Mayo Clinic was, like many in the HC industry, supporting Obamacare. Now suffer it like the rest of us.

Sometimes a kid needs to burn his hand to learn not to play with fire.

ptcamn on February 3, 2014 at 2:47 PM

But these Obamacare posts are about whistling past the graveyard, by next Novemeber Democrats will be openly running on the ACA. Mark my words.
libfreeordie on December 20, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Schadenfreude on February 3, 2014 at 3:12 PM

You know what we should talk about? Immigration.

- GOP Dopes

Kafir on February 3, 2014 at 3:13 PM

The Mayo Clinic said years ago that it would not accept my insurance if I got ill. Of course I had to buy it myself, since I am self employed. The policy is a United Healthcare medical policy, my deductible is $5,000. United Healthcare is one of the biggest insurers in the nation. United Healthcare is even in the Dow Jones 30. To hell with the Mayo Clinic.

SC.Charlie on February 3, 2014 at 3:14 PM

Sweet.

Suck it, chumps!

Pork-Chop on February 3, 2014 at 3:16 PM

Schadenfreude on February 3, 2014 at 3:12 PM

w/r/t which:

Où sont les trolls d’antan?

clear quadruped

Elephant

MisterElephant on February 3, 2014 at 3:31 PM

Minnesota is a blue state, so many of these people voted for Obama. So, what I would say to them is “Tough sh!t. You ask for this, now suffer.”

WarEagle01 on February 3, 2014 at 3:49 PM

Hating on Mayo Clinic? People from around the world fly in to get treatment there. Princes, sheiks, movie stars…it proves your point about how great American hospitals are.

I understand Hot Air’s animosity towards electric cars and Gwyneth Paltrow. But Mayo Clinic? Come on…

tlynch001 on February 3, 2014 at 4:04 PM

Give me Hamm on 5 hold the Mayo.

simkeith on February 3, 2014 at 4:08 PM

It’s been happening. Large corporations often need most of the year to plan for the next year. Since the “employer mandate” was not deferred until late, my employer created new plans (we are self-insured, like most big companies) that were meant to comply (our employee handbook states this explicitly) with the ACA even though technically, they didn’t need to until 2015. So we have the joys of higher premiums, higher deductibles and lost coverage already!!! I’m sure other companies have done the same thing. There’s likely already an undercurrent of discontent in the “group” market already, it just has not surfaced because it isn’t official…yet.

BillyWilly on February 3, 2014 at 4:19 PM

I think a lot of employees, like those at the Mayo Clinic, it seems, thought that “gee, it’s too bad about those folks in the individual market, but I’ve dodged the bullet because my employer plan didn’t change” but now are starting to find out that they didn’t, the start of their troubles was put off for a year. They will face something similar to the people in the individual markets except that the employers, those who still go with employer plans, will make sure the plans are in place prior to open enrollment.

So the prices and deductibles (if applicable in a PPO) of the plans will be higher, but the employee is not going to have a whole lot of choices.

The whole political plan was to put the law into place because it was expected to be too difficult to repeal, then conceal or deny the existence of, for as long as possible, any negative effects then when those become known to worry about that when it happens. If it proves to be a debacle 4 or 6 years down the road during implementation, then the politicians will have had 4 or 6 years and they may survive anyway.

Russ808 on February 3, 2014 at 5:33 PM

If the Country has any semblance of smarts left…”

Bmore

Sadly, most American sheeples will just whine and complain and vote like they always have; Democrats learned that they can do anything, including tearing peoples health care away from them, and their base will continue to vote for them.

Democrats having been promising stuff since I’ve been alive and have never, once, followed through on their promises and the sheep just sigh and hope maybe next year it will really happen.

This is the law of the land and no one will ever change it. We have become legal serfs of the Democratic party.

E9RET on February 3, 2014 at 6:15 PM