By Sharon Stevens
St. Louis (KSDK) - The checks are in the mailboxes. Nearly 600,000 Missourians are starting to receive "rebate" payments as a result of the Affordable Care Act.
Who's getting paid? A lot of the recipients are people who are self-employed.
Insurance companies, such as Anthem and United Healthcare, are sending the rebates because of what's called the "80/20 Rule." Insurance companies have to let customers know how much of their premiums have been spent on medical care and quality improvement, as opposed to marketing and profits.
The law requires that at least 80 percent of the premium dollars must be spent directly on health care. When that doesn't happen, the rebate is triggered.
That's how attorney Christine Alsop ended up with a check from her insurance company for $115.00.
"It has wonderful provisions for the clients that I serve. So it's something that I'm learning and it's something that I think is going to be a good thing for clients but it's a massive, massive law that's going to take a lot of dissecting," said Alsop.
Rose Ann Feldman, an attorney with a private practice, ended up getting a rebate check from Anthem-Blue Cross/Blue Shield, for $769 just a few days ago.
Like a lot of people getting rebates, Feldman is self-employed; she has no full-time employees. She says her premiums are sky-high.
"They pay approximate $2,000 a month for four people. Actually, it's probably running at 1,800 for four people," said Feldman.
Anthem officials declined to go on camera, but in a statement they said they are committed to working with providers, hospitals, and others to try and control rising health costs.
The former head of the American Medical Association was in St. Louis for a panel discussion on the Affordable Care Act hosted by the Show-Me Institute in St. Louis' Central West End neighborhood.
Dr. Donald Palmisano opposes the law. He says it's a bad thing and means more government interference.