The folks from Safe Harbor Financial joined us on Studio10 with their thoughts on what is Obamacare.
The views expressed in the TV segment and in the script below were provided by Safe Harbor Financial and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Fox10 or LIN Media.
What is Obamacare and what can we expect?
Obamacare, also known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or simply, the Affordable Care Act, is the first attempt since the 1960s to reform the health care industry and attempts to provide all Americans with “affordable quality” health care.
Approximately 44 million Americans are without health insurance. It is anticipated that 7 million citizens will lose their job-based insurance in the near future.
Changes to Obamacare are expected to take place over the next several years and will affect both the insurance and health care industries. By 2014, if health insurance is not offered by your employer, then you will be required to purchase your own “government approved” health insurance or pay a tax penalty.
To know if you qualify for Medicaid or assistance to pay for you insurance depends on your annual income. Families between 100-400 percent of the poverty level get payment assistance through “exchanges”, which are coupons or rebates to help offset the cost of health insurance.
What are the consequences of not choosing to purchase health insurance?
Again, it depends on your income and can range from $95 - $695 or as high as 2.5 percent on one’s annual income by 2016, and will be phased in over the next three years, starting in 2014. This will be paid at tax time.
For those of you still working, Obamacare will impact employer provided medical coverage significantly. Based on the number of full-time employees, businesses may be required to offer their workers health insurance. In a nutshell, here are the rules: If a business has over 200 employees they are required to provide health insurance. If the business has fewer then 50 employees they may chose to offer insurance, but if they don’t and even one employee who qualifies for subsidies, then the employer is taxed $2000 annually for each employee over 30 employees who qualify for the exchange. Employers with less then 50 employees are exempt from penalties.
Employers who do offer insurance may qualify for tax credits and may even be eligible to use the health insurance exchange, which opens Oct. 1, 2013, to pay for the health insurance premiums.
Who will Obamacare help?
The Affordable Care Act will have expanded coverage to 33 million Americans who would otherwise by uninsured by 2022 and is expected to cost $1.1 trillion over the next 10 years. This will reduce our nation’s deficit by $143 billion according to the Congressional Budget Office. Although Obamacare will greatly help working Americans who cannot afford insurance and who don’t qualify for Medicaid, there will certainly be a price to pay for providing “affordable quality” health care.
The price will come in the form of taxes of which there will be 20 new taxes phased in though 2018, less access to physicians as the industry will be flooded with the millions of newly insured, creating physician shortages or worse, a halt in job growth as employers are less likely to hire Individuals from low income households or less likely to hire full-time workers at all.
What are some of the added taxes and what will be their affect?
Obamacare is now official, which means that a lot more people in the United States will have health insurance. And it also means a lot more people will be paying more taxes.
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