Call it Obamacare or call it by its official name, which is The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Either way, change in health care insurance coverage is coming and you may want to find out if you can benefit. The new federal law, passed in March 2010, is expected to affect most everyone, according to research by the nonprofit Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati. Changes will take effect at different times between now and January 2014.
So where do you go for information on how you might be affected?
Under a heading titled “The ACA increases some taxes and requires insurance,” the overview reports that:
- Some rules have changed for healthcare spending and flexible spending accounts (HSAs and FSAs), and that these accounts can no longer apply to over-the-counter drugs.
- There will be a 10% tax on indoor tanning services.
- In 2014, individuals must have health insurance or pay a tax, except in cases of financial hardship or religious belief.
- For 2013, those under 65 who itemize their taxes will realize a higher deduction for unreimbursed medical expenses, from 7.5% to 10%.
Another good source is a government website at http://www.healthcare.gov. On Oct. 1, people will be able to find answers relating to their personal situations on a section of that site titled “Get Your Options & Info.”
The site is easy to navigate and well organized. A section titled Health Insurance Basics addresses many basic issues, relating to dental coverage, for example, and eligibility for self-employed people.
Change is just beginning, and it will take a long time to understand the full implications. These are just a few good places to start.