Obamacare Timeline: Dates to Be Aware Of
With each passing month, additional provisions of Obamacare go into effect. Here are some dates to be aware of, beginning this year:
Limiting Health Care FSA Contributions
Employee contributions to health flexible savings accounts (FSAs) are limited to $2,500 per year, indexed by the consumer price index in subsequent years.
Summary of Benefits and Coverage
Small employers sponsoring a health plan are required to provide participants and beneficiaries with a summary of benefits and coverage (SBC) to help employees compare their health coverage options.
W-2 Reporting for Employer-Sponsored Coverage
Employers have to divulge the amount spent on their employer-sponsored health care coverage in Box 12 of IRS Form W-2.
Excise Tax to Fund Comparative Effectiveness Research
The new law imposes an excise tax equal to $2 times every participant and dependent covered under a fully insured or self-insured group health plan to fund comparative effectiveness research.
Medical Device Tax
A 2.3% excise tax on manufacturers and importers of certain medical devices is imposed.
Fewer Deductible Medical Expenses
New limits are placed on the amount of medical expenses an individual can deduct as an itemized deduction on his or her tax return.
Additional Medicare Payroll Tax
The employee portion of the Hospital Insurance (HI) payroll tax will be increased by 0.9%—on top of the current 1.45% payroll tax percentage—for individuals with wages in excess of $200,000 and for families with wages in excess of $250,000.
Medicare Investment Tax
A 3.8% tax is imposed on net investment income (e.g., capital gains, dividends) for single taxpayers with a modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) of $200,000 or more and taxpayers filing jointly with a MAGI of $250,000 or more.
LATE SUMMER 2013
Notification of State Exchanges
Employers will be required to provide a print notice with information about the state-run exchanges and an employee’s ability to shop for coverage there.
Federal and State Health Exchanges Open
The new health exchanges are scheduled to begin open enrollment, enabling (1) individuals in the “individual health insurance market” to purchase coverage through an exchange, and (2) small employers in the “small group market” to purchase a health plan through an exchange.
Firms with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees will be required to provide insurance to all full-time employees (and their dependents) or potentially pay a penalty. The penalty is triggered if an employee purchases insurance through the health insurance exchange and accesses a government subsidy.
All U.S. citizens and legal residents must purchase qualifying health coverage or pay penalties. For an individual, the penalty begins in 2014 at the greater of $95 or 1.0% of household income.
Health Insurance Tax
Insurers will be hit with a health insurance tax (HIT). The HIT is a fixed-dollar amount distributed across health insurance providers: $8 billion in 2014, $11.3 billion in 2015–2016, $13.9 billion in 2017, and $14.3 billion in 2018.
Transitional Reinsurance Program
Each group health plan will have to contribute an annual per capita rate of $63 for 2014, with payment likely due in early January 2015.
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