Perhaps by morning there will be articles out there with some quick stats on the things you might want to know. I thought I would put out a few of the stats to start.
- Can I get insurance without a pre-ex clause??- Not until 2014.
- High Risk pools ? – Federal government will fund $5 billion for high risk pools. Should kick in 2010.
- Kids ? – To age 26 in all States. Should kick in 2010.
- Did my taxes go up? – Payroll tax will increase in 2010 for those earning over $200k. Income tax surcharge of 3.8%.
- Did my Health Savings Account survive? – Yes.
- What about employer penalties who don’t provide insurance – For qualified employers, the penalty has been increased from $750 to $2000 per employee. Companies with 50 or fewer workers are exempt from the requirement. Part-time workers are included in the calculations, counting two part-timers as one full-time worker.
- What about individual penalties? – If you don’t have insurance, you will pay 2% income tax surcharge up to $325 per person.
- What about Expensive health plans surtax? – Exists, $10,200 for singles, $27,500 for families and that doesn’t start until 2018.
- Flex Spending Accounts – $2500 annual contribution limit.
- Deduction of Medical Expenses – Increase from 7.5% of AGI to 10% excluded.
- Creation of Long Term Care insurance fund for to help seniors in need of help with daily tasks such as bathing and dressing.
- Subsidy for low income – on a sliding scale for households making up to four times the federal poverty level, $88,200 for a family of four. Premiums for a family of four making $44,000 would be capped at around 6 percent of income.
- No gender based pricing for individual insurance.
- Insurance Exchange starts in 2014. No Public Option.
- No lifetime limits on benefits.
- $480 billion in new taxes over the next 10 years.
- $500 billion in Medicare cuts over the next 10 years.
I am monumentally disappointed in the passing of this Health Care Reform bill. Most of the people reading this blog will pay substantially more for the same services so that those who did not pay into the system have guaranteed access. This bill will surely be modified thousands of times over the next 5 years, but one thing is certain; costs will increase. Imagine a surcharge on your mortgage to make sure that those who over extended don’t lose their home equity.
I am 100% open to being wrong. I made a huge mistake in voting for a Presidential candidate who promised openness and bipartisanship in formulating a health care bill. I am hopeful that my losing streak continues. For now, I am as disappointed in Congress as I was excited when Mr. Obama was elected.