What Is The Affordable Care Act (ACA)?

Unless you have been away from all types of communication over the past six months you have heard the term the Affordable Care Act.  If not, don’t panic, you may identify this act by its better known name “Obama-Care.”

The bottom line for this act for individuals is simple – if you can afford health coverage then you must be covered or else pay a fee at the end of the year.

Here are some highlights of the Affordable Care Act or “Obama-Care”:

·         March 31, 2014 is a key day.  All those eligible to obtain coverage must obtain coverage by then.
·         Penalties for not being covered in 2014 will be the higher of 1%of the yearly household income or $95.00 per person ($47.50 per child under 18).  Penalties for 2014 will max out at $285.00 per family.
·         Penalties in future years will increase sharply: 2015 – 2% of income or $325.00 per person. 2016 – 2.5% of income or $695.00 per person.  After 2016 the penalty will adjust for inflation.
·         If you are uninsured for less than three months you will not be penalized.
·         Penalties will be pro-rated for those who are insured for part of the year.
·         You must have what is considered minimum essential coverage in order to avoid these penalties.
·         There are several exemptions based on income and certain circumstances.
·         Self-employed individuals who aren't considered employers must also be covered.  In fact, you may even have more options being self-employed.
·         You are considered covered if you have any job-based plan, a health insurance plan you bought yourself, COBRA, retiree coverage, Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, TRICARE, VA health coverage, or some other kind of health coverage.
·         Individuals may qualify for health care tax credits, lower out of pocket costs or Medicare.

These are simply a few highlights of the Affordable Care Act.  Allow The Towles Group Inc to assist you or your business with navigating the complex Affordable Care Act.