How will the Affordable Care Act impact you in 2013?
Written by: Aimee Zellers
It’s a new year with new health considerations. Whether you’re trying to lose a few pounds, or recovering from a cold, healthcare is going to play a role in your life. With this New Year brings a new set of benchmarks for the Affordable Care Act to meet. Honestly, the bulk of the law doesn’t come to fruition until 2014. However there are a number of steps being implemented this year that could affect you as a healthcare consumer. Despite you position on this Act, here are some of the key enactments you can expect in 2013.
Medicaid gets a bump
- Physicians that treat Medicaid patients will get a raise, to match the level and rates that physicians treating Medicare patients receive.
- The federal government is also supplementing preventative programs and services provided by state Medicaid programs. These programs include cancer, blood pressure and cholesterol screening, vaccinations, as well as counseling services to help patients lose weight, quit smoking, and avoid alcohol abuse.
- Individuals earning more than 200K and couples earning more than 250K will have 0.9% increase added to their income tax in order to supplement the Medicate trust fund.
- The majority of medical devices will have an added tax of 2.3%. However, not all medical devices are subject to this tax, for example, hearing aids, defibrillators and artificial joints will not be subject to tax. For a complete list check the law.
- Beginning January 1, 2013 the majority of American citizens will receive a tax deduction if their total medical expenses exceed 10% of their total income. In previous years, tax payers were eligible for a deduction if their total medical expenses total 7.5% of their total income.
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA’s)
- An FSA is money that an employee is allowed to set aside or take out of their paycheck, before taxes, that goes into a separate account which is used for paying medical expenses. In the past, employers typically limited it to around $5,000. Starting in 2013, the government imposed a cap limiting the FSA amount to $2,500.
- In an effort to make health care spending and employee benefits more transparent, W-2 forms will now include a line that shows the health related benefits an employee receives from their employer.
For more information see the sites below:
The Affordable Care Act go to: http://www.healthcare.gov/law/index.html
Affordable Care Act Tax Provisions: http://www.irs.gov/uac/Affordable-Care-Act-Tax-Provisions
Implementing New Private Health Insurance Market Rules: http://www.kff.org/healthreform/upload/8399.pdf