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If the health care reform is approved this year—and assuming no changes are made to the current bill—you can expect these changes to take effect in the coming years:
2011: Health care companies begin paying annual fees, starting with drug companies paying $2.7 billion. Insurance and medical device companies begin paying fees in 2013.
2013: Medicare payroll taxes will increase to 2.35% for singles making more than $200,000 and families making more than $250,000. In addition, this group will pay a 3.8% tax on investment income.
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2014: Possibly the most controversial provision of the bill kicks in with the mandate for everyone to buy health insurance or pay an annual fine—$95 in 2014 rising to a maximum of $2,250 for a family in 2016.
Businesses with 50 or more employees will be required to provide insurance for their employees or be fined $2,000 per worker.
Health Care Exchanges, or state-run insurance marketplaces, will offer competitively priced insurance options for small businesses and individuals not covered through their employer.
The Federal government will provide subsidies to help families making $29,327–$88,000 buy insurance. Premiums will be based on percentage of income, ranging from 3-9.5%.
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2018: Expensive, “Cadillac” insurance plans will be charged a 40% excise tax. “Cadillac” plans are defined as plans with premiums of $10,200 for singles and $27,500 for families.
2020: Provisions to eliminate gaps on Medicare prescription coverage are completely in place.
At this point, there are still a lot of unanswered questions. Some legislators who voted on these bills don’t even completely understand them.
We’re doing our homework, too. Our goal is to keep you up to date on how this reform will affect you with all the facts and straight talk you’ve come to expect.