Four stages of Healthcare reform and it’s impact on business

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Health Care Reform – What Have You Paid, What’s Next?
By Betsy Earls
By Associated Oregon Industries
Oregon’s largest business advocate

Now that the Supreme Court has cleared the way for continued implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), it is time to review the changes the law has already made, and take a quick look at what comes next.

The first provisions of the law took effect in 2010:
– Lifetime limits on health insurance were coverage eliminated, annual limits were restricted;
– Dependents to age 26 were required to be covered on parent’s plan if no other coverage;
– Pre-existing condition limitations prohibited for children 19 and under;
– Cost sharing for preventative health services prohibited.

Although the next set of requirements doesn’t begin until 2013, AOI worked with the Oregon Legislature in 2011 and 2012 to make those mandates (especially those going into effect in 2014) as workable as possible for Oregon businesses.

2013 will be mainly about new taxes:
– Medicare tax on incomes over $200k (or $250k for family) will increase 0.9%;
– New 3.8% Medicare tax imposed on unearned income for individuals with AGI over $200k (families $250k);
– Employers must pay a $2 per employee tax per year to support comparative effectiveness standards;
– Medical device and health plan taxes take effect.

In 2014, employers will feel the full force of the ACA’s changes to the insurance market:
– Individual mandate takes effect;
– Employer mandate penalties take effect for companies with 50+ full time employees;
– Exchange coverage begins for individuals and small (fewer than 50 FTE) employers;
– Insurance market reforms take effect in individual and group markets, premium credits and cost sharing subsidies take effect for eligible individuals.

2018 tax on high dollar health plans takes effect.

As the ACA progresses to full implementation, AOI will continue to work with Oregon employers and the Legislature to minimize the negative impacts of the law.