The Associated Press
Health insurance companies will have to pay to play in new health insurance markets coming under President Barack Obama's health care law, the administration said in a regulatory notice issued Friday.
The Health and Human Services Department is proposing a "user fee" amounting to 3.5 percent of premiums for health insurers who want to offer policies in new federal exchanges coming in 2014.
The fee is to cover administrative costs of the new markets, which were designed to be self-supporting.
Exchanges are new online markets where consumers will be able to buy individual private policies and apply for government subsidies.
The insurance industry said Friday the fees will increase costs, already expected to rise because the new policies in many cases will be more comprehensive than what is currently available.
States will also charge administrative fees in the exchanges that they run.
Obama's re-election victory assured that his health care overhaul would advance largely as designed. Starting in 2014, insurers will be required to accept all customers, even those with health problems.