Fresh into the new year and yes, there is ACA News.

ACA News
ACA News

Two articles about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) came to our attention this past week.

One of them, released by Politico, states: “Almost all of the taxes that will be used to offset the cost of ACA are in place…A tax on so-called Cadillac health plans, set to begin in 2018, is the last major provision to kick in.  This is also the first year wealthier Americans will feel the Affordable Care Act tax squeeze from several levies that began in 2013 but won’t be paid out until the upcoming tax filing season a few weeks away.”  The whole article “is an overview of the 2014 ACA” taxes and fees.  5 specifically:

 

  1. The Health Insurance Tax (HIT):  “Insurers have been sounding the alarm that the tax will lead to an increase in premiums, but the law’s supporters argue the industry is just trying to protect profits and build support for repealing the tax…some independent analysts said that while insurers are most likely inflating the impact the tax will have on premiums, consumers can expect to bear some of the cost.”
  2. The bellybutton tax, aka  the “reinsurance fee.”  “It’s basically insurance for the insurers that spreads out risk…The program will then hand over the money to insurance companies that find themselves taking on the most costly patients, those with severe health problems.
  3. Taxing the Wealthy, multiple ways:  Firstly, “a 3.8 percent surtax on unearned income from capital gains and dividends for individuals earning more than $200,000 and couples earning more than $250,000.”  Secondly, “a 0.9 percent Medicare wage tax increase,” and thirdly, “A higher standard for deducting medical expenses.”
  4. A penalty for those choosing to be uninsured.
  5. Monthly website fees:  “insurance companies that sell their plans on HealthCare.gov will have to pay a monthly fee that amounts to 3.5 percent of the premiums they sold on the website.”

These 5 will bring in part of the “$700 billion worth of the roughly 20 taxes that fund ACA.”

The second article, posted by BenefitsNews, states that “Two of the largest U.S. health insurers are giving Obamacare customers more time to pay their initial premiums as the industry tries to coax millions of people to take the final step in cementing coverage for 2014.”  Wellpoint is offering an extra 5 days so that premiums are now due by January 15, 2014 instead of on January 10th as originally stated.  In addition, “Health Care Service Corp., which runs Blue Cross plans in Texas, Illinois and three other states, extended its deadline to Jan. 30, saying it wanted to avoid confusion… Kaiser Permanente, which covers 9.1 million people in eight states, has extended its premium deadline until Jan. 15, as have state-run exchanges for California, Oregon and Washington…Humana Inc. will accept payments through the end of the month.”

Have you felt the sting of the new taxes yet?

Has your premium payment been delayed?

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