February 27, 2013
The health care reform law enacted in March, 2010 consists of over 2,000 pages of legislation. A timeline from 2010 through 2018 of when the reforms may go into effect is a good starting point in understanding the changes. Another source of information is the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services www.healthreform.gov website.
January – Small businesses can count 35 percent of the money spent on employee health insurance as a tax deduction for 2010. June – Temporary high-risk pools are created to cover those with pre-existing conditions. July – 10% tax imposed on indoor tanning services September – Cancelling coverage after the fact, known in the industry as “recession,” becomes illegal. Insurance companies must create an appeals process for denied claims. Insurance companies can no longer exclude a child’s pre-existing condition from an insurance policy.
Medicare Advantage is restructured to cut Medicare costs, leading to possible cutbacks in benefits for those enrolled. Brand-name drugs in the Medicare Part D coverage gap are discounted by 50 percent.
Maximum contribution to a flexible spending account falls to $2,500 a year and is tied to inflation. Threshold for deducting medical expenses jumps from 7.5 percent to 10 percent of adjusted gross income.
State-based insurance exchanges for individuals and small businesses will be online with four standard levels of coverage. Health Plans will be prohibited from imposing annual limits on coverage. Tax credits are issued to help the uninsured earning from 100% to 400% of the federal poverty line to buy insurance. Tax penalty begins phasing in for those without insurance. Tax starts at $95 per year in 2010, or 1 percent of taxable income. Businesses with more than 50 employees are required to provide health insurance to employees or pay hefty fees.
Maximum tax penalty for not having insurance rises to $325 a year, or 2 percent of taxable income.
Maximum tax penalty for not having insurance rises to $695 a year, or 2.5% of taxable income.
Business with more than 100 employees can shop for health insurance on state insurance exchanges.
Excise tax begins on health plans costing more than $27,500 for families and $10,200 for individuals.