Affordable Healthcare Act penalties will begin to impact Individuals and small business as soon as 2014. The election of President Obama assures us that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act aka “Obamacare” is here to stay. Rarely has such a significant Act been passed with so many details unclear and yet to be defined. The Affordable Healthcare Act provisions are still being defined and implementation timelines have already changed. The Secretary of Health and Human Services has yet to define many of the important details that will impact us all. The Affordable Care Act truly is a monumental piece of legislation which is so undefined that we’ll need to stay educated to understand the penalties within it. I’ve read the Act and continue to monitor information as it becomes available. Even with the best intentions, this piece of legislation is going to significantly impact individuals and small business.
All of us will be impacted as qualifying individuals will be required to carry minimum Insurance coverage requirements or face Affordable Healthcare Act penalties. Minimum insurance requirements have yet to be defined. The availability of these insurance packages will be greatly impacted by the Affordable Insurance Exchanges, which are also undefined and developing as we speak. States are making the decisions now if they will operate under the federal umbrella or operate their own exchanges. Individual states are struggling as the insurance packages they must offer have yet to be defined by the secretary. Although qualifying individuals will receive a tax credit, it is unclear what we’ll be required to carry much less the cost. Many more individuals will qualify for Medicaid if they are under 133% of the Federal Poverty Line. This will undoubtedly impact care provider’s workload and their income, which may very well affect our ability to receive care.
Small business will begin to be significantly affected by Affordable Healthcare Act penalties as soon as 2014. Small business tax credits are currently available to qualifying small employers. Tax credits will increase in the coming years to incentivize employers to provide insurance to their employees. Qualifying large employers will be asked to pay employer shared responsibilities if they do not provide minimum insurance to their employees. Small businesses will need to determine if they meet the “mandate” or qualify as a large employer. Depending on which category they fall under, it will be important to implement strategies in 2013 before they are required to pay penalties in 2014. With minimum insurance packages yet to be defined, this will greatly impact an employer’s decisions to offer health insurance to their employees. One thing that is known is that qualifying large employers will pay a $2,000 penalty per full time employee if they do not offer minimum qualifying insurance packages. This penalty will incentivize qualifying large employers to assess the cost of insurance offerings to their shared employer responsibility payments. We can expect to see qualifying large employers implement strategies in 2013 to minimize the effects of the Affordable Care Act.
Individuals and Small business will not be able to avoid Affordable Healthcare Act penalties. Largely policed by the Internal Revenue Service, penalties of the Act will be connected to tax returns and we all know how effective the IRS can be. Individuals claiming dependents will pay penalties if those dependents do not carry minimum insurance coverage. Small business owners will not be able to create or hide behind multiple corporations to avoid being qualified as a larger employer. As individuals go to state exchanges, they will be asked for employer identification providing details on the coverage employers are offering. The IRS is hiring and will be prepared to enforce penalties. The penalties will be a critical revenue generating piece of the government’s ability to implement the Act. With many details yet to be defined by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Americans can count on additional documents that will be required filing with our individual and corporate tax returns.
We are committed to provide information applicable to Affordable Healthcare Act penalties. Working in businesses that qualify as Large Employers, we are very interested in implementing strategies to minimize the impact of employer shared responsibilities. We are also concerned with how the Act will impact the ability to receive quality care for our families. This website will be updated often to provide the most up to date information as we begin to be impacted by the Affordable Care Act. Now that the government is moving forward with full implementation, it will be imperative to stay educated as it will impact most Americans. Information is hard to find within the Act itself, much less the amount of details yet to be defined by the Secretary. Information will be coming out of the Department of Health and Human Services, National Association of Insurance Commissioners, and other government websites. Check back frequently for the most up to date and concise information available.