Sep 05, 2013

ObamaCare: What You Need To Know About The Affordable Care Act Timeline

Most of the general population in the United States remains in the dark about the policies and deadlines put forth through the White House's Affordable Care Act (ACA). During the first three years of Health Care Reform implementation, there were 82 deadlines mandated by the legislation. So far, the White House has missed half of these deadlines, and the rapidly approaching October 1st deadline for launching nationwide Health Care Exchanges is also in danger of being delayed.

In June, the Congressional Research Service (non-partisan) released a breakdown of the missed deadlines in the first three years of Health Care Reform implementation:

  • Year 1:  9 out of 12 deadlines missed
  • Year 2:  22 out of 53 deadlines missed
  • Year 3:  10 of 17 deadlines missed
To help people understand some important and impactful parts of the legislation, we've compiled a list of some of the Affordable Care Act mandates kicking in this year.

ObamaCare Health Care Reform Timeline 2013

  • Health Insurance Exchanges open to create a marketplace for health insurance for uninsured individuals and small employers. Those making over 400% of the poverty level can shop on the exchange but will not receive tax credits or discounts. The insurance purchased on the exchange doesn't go into effect until Jan 1st, 2014. This is scheduled for launch by October 1st, 2013 - stay tuned for updates.
  • Tax credits, discounts on out-of-pocket costs, tax breaks, and other subsides are available on the exchange. The exchange will work based on your gross adjusted income.
  • The law will increase the Medicare Part A hospital insurance tax rate by 0.9% on an individual taxpayer earning over $200,000 ($250,000 for married filing jointly). It expands the taxable base to include net investment income in the case of taxpayers earning over $200,000 ($250,000 for joint returns). This is a new category of income for Medicare taxation. This accounts for somewhere between 1.5% and 4.2% of taxpayers (according to recent IRS and census reports).
  • 3.8% Medicare tax on unearned income over $200K for individuals and $250K for families and businesses. "Unearned income" can range from rental income, life insurance policy proceeds, unemployment benefits, inheritances in cash or property, support and alimony payments, and more. For a full list click here.
  • $500,00 deduction cap on compensation paid to insurance company workers.
  • ObamaCare lays out new rules about the amount that can be contributed to an FSA. A cap of $2,500 is applied to reform FSA's and prevent individuals from overpaying trying to use the money before it disappears. This is indexed to inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI)
  • Part D Coverage Gap or "Donut Hole" reduction goes into effect. NOTE: Donut Hole phase of your Medicare Part D coverage begins when your total retail drug costs reach $2970. (In past coverage years, some Medicare Part D plans have implemented a different Initial Coverage Limit and have begun the Donut Hole phase a little earlier - perhaps at a total retail drug spending of $1,800.) This $2970 is the total retail cost of the covered medications, not what you spend personally at the pharmacy. As a Medicare Part D beneficiary, you will pay only a portion of the $2970 and your Part D plan pays a portion.
  • Eliminates deduction for Part D retiree drug subsidies for employers
  • ObamaCare increases (7.5% to 10%) threshold at which medical expenses, as a % of income, can be deductible) for self-employed individuals.
  • The law will impose a 2.3% excise tax on medical device manufacturers. It will exempt eyeglasses, contact lenses, hearing aids, and any device that is generally purchased by the public at the retail level. Estimated to raise $20 billion.

Click here for additional information about Affordable Care Act implementation or contact AWANE today to learn more.