June 28, 2012 marked the U.S. Supreme Court ruling of the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ruling stabilizes the policy environment for health care for patients, providers, and employers.
Thousands of currently uninsured Maryland families will gain access to medical care, and be less likely to fall into poverty because of health care costs. Some of the Act’s provisions have already taken effect in Maryland; 52,000 Marylanders, 26 years of age and younger benefit from provisions allowing them to remain on their parents’ insurance, for example. Many are wondering how the ruling and the ACA affect them as small employers or as those who have to purchase health insurance individually. We will stay tuned to track the updates to the small business owner. Stay tuned.
Source: Maryland Non Profit Association
1. Non-compliance penalty. Most Americans will be required to obtain qualifying health coverage by 2014 or face a penalty. The charge will gradually rise over a three-year period. In 2014, the cost will be $285 per family or 1% of household income (whichever is greater). Individual adults will pay $95. The following year, in 2015, the fee will be $975 per family or 2% of household income (whichever is greater). Individual adults will pay $325. By 2016, the cost will rise to $2,085 or 2.5% of household income (whichever is greater). Individual adults will pay $695. The penalty must be paid to the IRS along with your taxes.
2. Health insurance tax credits. Starting January 2014, if your household income is less than $88,000 for a family of four, and your job doesn’t provide coverage you can afford, you are eligible to receive tax credits to assist you with paying for insurance. An advance payment can be made to your insurance company to help cover the cost of premiums.
3. Health insurance exchange program. Starting January 2014, if your employer does not offer health insurance, you can buy it directly from an Affordable Insurance Exchange. Both small businesses and individuals will be able to participate in this new insurance marketplace. The exchange allows consumers to enroll in a private or public health insurance plan, compare insurance benefit packages to get the best deal, and determine eligibility for tax credits.
4. Increased income tax for high earners. Starting January 2013, if you’re a very high earner you might be hit with higher income taxes. There will be a 3.8% surtax on investment income earned in households earning $200,000 or more for individuals and $250,000 or more for couples.
5. Home sales tax. In addition, if capital gains on the sale of one’s primary home is more than $250,000 for an individual or $500,000 for a couple, and income requirements are met, the realized gain will be taxed at 3.8%. The rise in fees will help with paying for the cost of healthcare.
For more information on the Affordable Care Act, log on to HealthCare.gov.