How Will Health Care Reform Impact You in 2013 and 2014?

HR Resource
May 9, 2013 — 2,293 views  
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The health care sector is already changing with the enactment of the Affordable Care Act from 2010. This Act includes expanded coverage for Americans including young adults, lower cost of drugs, removal of lifetime limits on insurance coverage, premium rebates, and preventive free care access expansion, among others.

The PPACA or Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2014 will provide coverage to all Americans. Additionally, small employers under the new Act will have problems integrating defined benefit plans, if they are not already a part of it.   

Provisions for Consumer Protection at Present

The consumer protection currently includes coverage of young adults until the age of 26, as dependents on parents’ health plan. This has brought in over 6 million young adults under coverage. The 2014 reforms will open health exchange options, so everyone will be able to get health insurance. Consumer protection currently provides cheaper drugs for seniors – over 52 percent on brand drugs and 21 percent on generic drugs.

People with pre-existing conditions can buy comprehensive health plans for about the same price as those without pre-existing health conditions. This temporary provision will be in force until PPACA comes into force in 2014. The plans currently cover, without additional cost, the preventive measures such as colonoscopies, immunizations, and pap smears. Additional preventives are also available to women.

Recent Changes to the Health Care Segment

The Affordable Care Act has brought about several changes since it came into law. But those under grandfathered plans may not have access all the benefits since their insurance is covered by their employers. The new change introduces rebates if the insurance does not use 80-85 percent of premium on quality improvement and medical care. All health plans have to use a consumer-friendly standard form.

The employers would no longer be able to set caps on FSA. The maximum that can be set aside as tax-free not covered under insurance is $2500. In addition, the high earners (over $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for couples filing jointly) will have to pay more tax on Medicare. But the taxation clause does not apply in some cases, such as the sale of residence with capital gain under $250,000 if filed as single owner, and $500,000 under joint ownership. Also, employers will need to keep in mind the affordability to access defined benefit plans for their employees.

What to Expect in 2014?

The 2014 PPACA promises to transform health care. Everyone will be covered under health plans without charging any extra amount based on gender or health conditions. Health exchange options will be available in every state so buyers can purchase health plans that suit their needs. Subsidies will be available to health plan purchasers if their household income is up to four times the federal poverty level.

According to this Act everyone will be required to purchase a health plan. Otherwise they will face penalty. The employers must rethink upon defined benefit plans before 2014 to escape penalties. Originally, the goal of the law was to expand the government sector health program for Americans in the low-income bracket. The Supreme Court in its 2012 ruling has upheld the health reforms. While many states have decided to go ahead with the reform law, some states have not decided yet. 

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