Have you taken a close look at your bill when you’ve dined out recently? There may be an added line charge…and I’m not talking about restaurants charging for tap water!
Paying for employee health care when you go out to eat
Some restaurants are now adding a health care surcharge to their bills. This first started in Southern California because mid-sized chains have to provide health coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). So in making what could be a political statement, or just dealing with a new expense, some restaurants are breaking it out as a separate charge.
It’s kind of like buying an international air ticket in coach. The actual fare may be $200 roundtrip, but nobody pays that because everything else is an unbundled charge: Security, customs, fuel surcharges, etc.
But this one is new with the restaurants adding the health insurance surcharge. The amounts will vary as a percent or a dollar amount.
So I just want you to know when the price isn’t the price it may be because a business is trying to pass off to you their cost for healthcare.
My question is, where does this all stop? Should the cost for electricity, or the cost of rent, be passed on to you as a diner? Where does it end?
Health insurers cancelling plans that aren’t ACA compliant
On the health insurance front, there are people who are getting notices about the cancellation of their health plans. Those health plans are ones that insurers have decided to can because they’re not compliant with all the rules of the ACA.
The insurers can continue to offer them, but they’ve decided to bail on them anyway because — and this may surprise you — people have migrated to the more robust coverage under the different levels of Obamacare.
So in an ironic twist, the cost for insurers in operating the noncompliant plans has gone up to the point that they’re losing money on those plans that don’t meet the minimum ACA requirements. So if you get a notification, that’s likely what’s going on.
I’d started getting calls about this and it was a mystery to me until I read about what was happening. The good news is the plan you’ll buy in replacement may be cheaper, but the coverages will be better.