Affordable Care Act

This post by admin

Posted in Employees, Insurance, Legal
-Joel Burke (marketing intern at the Nevada SBDC)

There has been a lot of fuss lately about the Affordable Care Act, or as it is more widely known, Obamacare. It is true, there are a lot of new regulations and changes to the ways individuals will be insured. To get a head start on shopping for a new health insurance plan, all the different coverages offered in the new government program can be found in the new health care marketplace for Nevada, Nevada Health Link.

logoUnder the act, each individual is required to have basic health insurance coverage which covers some minimum essentials like emergency care, maternity care, prescription drugs, and preventative services. Individuals will have to start carrying an approved insurance plan starting in January 2014. The act does not require coverage considered non-essential for individuals or businesses, like dental or vision services. Under the Affordable Care Act, individuals are responsible for getting basic health insurance coverage, showing a qualifying exemption, or making a payment when filing their income tax form starting 2015. Individuals do not have to make a payment under the current rules if the options for coverage are unaffordable, if the individual spends less than three consecutive months without coverage, or if he qualifies for another exemption including religious beliefs or hardship. Individuals who are enrolling in a new plan in the Health Care Marketplace may be eligible for a tax credit that can be used immediately to decrease the cost of monthly premiums for the new health plan of their choosing. Eligibility and value of the tax credits are dependent on the amount of income earned by the family.

While most of the changes that come about from the Affordable Care Act are focused on individuals, there are some changes for small businesses that have more than fifty full time employees or full time employee equivalents. Small businesses with fewer than fifty employees do not have to provide their employees with health insurance. However, if a business already provides employees with health insurance or plans on doing so in the future, there will be some changes. New health care plans can be found through the health care marketplace that is designed to be easy to understand. Small businesses may be eligible for a tax credit that can offset the cost of insurance by up to 35% in 2013 and 50% in 2014. The Affordable Care Act also has new incentive programs to increase workplace wellness for employees and to encourage employers to support healthy workplaces.

While some of the most important changes have been listed above, there are other changes. In Nevada, visit https://www.nevadahealthlink.com/info/ for more information.

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