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Ringing In The New Year... With New Reform Rules

12/31/12

  11:44:51 am, by MedBen5   , 219 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Ringing In The New Year... With New Reform Rules

In 2012, the big question about the Affordable Care Act was whether or not it would survive the year. But now that we know that its biggest challenges are (apparently) behind it, we’re free to look ahead to health care reform’s future.

While the biggest changes in the law don’t take effect until 2014, we’ll still see some interesting developments in the coming 12 months. WebMD explains several noteworthy changes, which we summarize here:

Health Insurance Exchanges Go Online: State-based health insurance exchanges must be up and running by Oct. 1, 2013. Only 18 states and the District of Columbia agreed to build their own exchanges, while the reminder will either work in partnership with the federal government to operate the marketplace, or simply leave it to the federal government to oversee its operation.

Changes to Itemized Medical Deductions: The threshold for deducting unreimbursed medical costs will increase from 7.5% of adjusted gross income to 10% for individuals under age 65.

Limits to FSA Contributions: Starting in January, pre-tax contributions to flexible spending accounts (FSAs) will be limited to $2,500 a year.

Increased Medicare Taxes on the Wealthy: To help pay for the law, taxes will rise by 0.9%, up to 2.35%, on earnings above $200,000 for individual taxpayers covered under Medicare. In addition, income earned from investments (as opposed to salary) will face a 3.8% tax assessment. Both take effect in January.

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