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Healthcare Reform 2018-01-05T16:22:20+00:00

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What You Need To Know About the ACA

As professional insurance consultants, we work hard to stay informed and updated on healthcare reform.  We provide services to help you understand and comply with your obligations under the Affordable Care Act, as well as other federal and state regulations.  We assist with ACA Reporting, provide timely updates and provide employer education on compliance.

Following are brief highlights of the ACA and how it affects Individuals and Employers.

Individuals and Small Businesses may be eligible for a tax credit under ACA healthcare reform laws.  Thus, the credit is applied as a discount on your monthly insurance premium. Accordingly, to see if you are eligible for a tax credit, please use the Subsidy Calculator provided by the Health Insurance Marketplace.  Or, if you are a business, use the Small Business Tax Credit Calculator provided by the Health Insurance Marketplace.  In any case, both businesses and individuals must purchase benefits through the Health Insurance Marketplace to secure their tax credit.  However, note that you must purchase benefits through the Health Insurance Marketplace to secure your premium discount.

EMPLOYERS:  Employers who have more than 50 full-time equivalent employees must offer those employees benefits that pay for 60% of the minimum essential benefits. If you are in non-compliance, you will incur a penalty of $2,140 per year multiplied by the number of full-time employees, and excludes the first 30 employees. The penalty is increased each year by the growth in insurance premiums. Note you may also incur a penalty when at least one of your employees receives a premium tax credit in the Health Insurance Marketplace (Exchange).

INDIVIDUALS:   The penalty may also affect individuals who fail to obtain qualifying health insurance.  Individuals can have coverage through their employer, or through an individual policy to satisfy the requirement.  If  you do not have qualifying health insurance, the tax penalty will be $695 for adults. Additionally, the penalty is $347.50 for each child. However, the maximum family penalty is the greater of 2.5% of income, or three times the adult penalty, which is $2,085.  Accordingly, your penalty will be applied on your annual tax return.

Healthcare reform (the Affordable Care Act – ACA) requires that all individuals have health insurance, either through an individual policy or through their employer or face a potential penalty. Therefore,  individuals can purchase individual insurance coverage on the Individual Market during the annual open enrollment of November 1st through December 15th of each year.  However, if you miss the deadline, you may qualify for special enrollment.

Special Enrollment:

You can still sign up for health insurance after the deadline if you meet any of the following qualifying events:

  • change in legal marital status
  • a change in the number of dependants
  • a change in place of residence and the current carrier is not available
  • significant cost or coverage change
  • a change in coverage of a spouse or dependant
  • a COBRA qualifying event
  • legal judgements, decrees and orders
  • entitlement to Medicare or Medicaid

The following are new underwriting guidelines of the ACA:

  • There is no longer a pre-existing condition clause.  In other words, insurance companies can not increase rates or deny coverage because of a pre-existing condition.
  • Your dependents can remain on you policy until they turn 26 years old.
  • Insurance companies can not consider gender when setting rates.
  • Employer renewals must be based on the same rates as new business.
  • The waiting period for employer benefits should not exceed 90 days.

You may be subject to a tax penalty if you do not comply with the “Essental Benefits” of ACA.  Specifically, to be in full compliance with the law, your insurance policy must cover at least 60% of the costs of the following essential benefits.

  • Ambulatory patient services
  • Emergency services
  • Hospitalization
  • Maternity and newborn care
  • Prescription Drugs
  • Mental health and Substance Abuse disorder services
  • Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices
  • Pediatric services, including oral and vision care
  • Preventive and wellness services, and chronic disease management

Disclaimer:  The premium and subsidy amounts displayed on Healthcare.gov, including the Subsidy Calculator, are estimates only and the actual premium and subsidy amounts may differ. The Subsidy Calculator is not intended to be relied upon for legal or tax advice. The information on Healthcare.gov, including the Subsidy Calculator, is based on the Affordable Care Act and subsequent regulations issued by Health and Human Services and the Internal Revenue Service; and the law and regulations are subject to change.

It is the insured’s responsibility to notify the Marketplace (800-318-2596) or via your Marketplace Account) within 30 days of any changes to household income and family size that may affect the premium or subsidy amount as such changes can result in a difference in the amount. Actual premiums may vary depending on plan availability and numerous other factors and penalties could be assessed for failure to provide accurate data or failure to update changed data.

Balanced Rock Insurance Agency, Inc. its employees, agents and representatives (collectively “Broker “) make no independent representations with respect to subsidies owed and/or premiums to be paid for coverage. Any information provided to you by broker may not be construed as tax or legal advice. Consult with your attorney and/or tax specialist for such advice.

Broker relies on the information you provide the Healthcare.gov and the information provided by this site in order to advise you on expected and actual premiums, subsidies and/or premium tax credits. Broker accepts NO responsibility or liability with respect to premium calculations, subsidies/premium tax credits owed, penalties assessed, and/or recoupment of subsidies/premium tax credits. Further, Broker is in no way liable for any information provided through Healthcare.gov including the Subsidy Calculator and makes no warranties or representations as to the accuracy of said information.

Information obtained from Healthcare.gov