June 4th, 2010 – While there is still some confusion, both on the part of both the government and private industry, as to when and how the major provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will take effect, here are the most current time lines:
September 23rd, 2010
· Children can stay on parents’ health plans until age 26 (effective June 1st for most insurers).
· Insurers can not discriminate based on pre-existing conditions for children.
· Co-payments for basic preventative care and medical screenings go away.
· Insurers can’t drop people who get sick.
· Tax credits for small employers for providing health care begin.
· Insurers must spend 85 percent of premiums (80 percent for individual plans) on health care.
· Businesses have to include the cost of health care benefits on employees’ W2’s.
· Over-the-counter drugs can no longer be paid for from flex spending accounts.
· Employees will be automatically enrolled in a public long-term-care insurance program, unless they opt out.
· Additional 0.9 percent in Medicare taxes for people earning more than $200,000 ($250,000 for couples).
· 3.8 percent tax on investment income for people earning more than $200,000 ($250,000 for couples).
· Contributions to flexible spending accounts capped at $2,500.
· All U.S. citizens are required to buy a qualifying health insurance plan or pay a penalty.
· No exclusions for pre-existing conditions.
· Most employers with 50 or more employees are required to provide health insurance or pay a penalty.
· New state-based insurance exchanges implemented where individuals and small employers can buy insurance.
· Tax credits to purchase health care for individuals or families earning up to four times the federal poverty line.
· 40 percent tax on “Cadillac” health care plans.
This is certain to change over time, so please check back periodically for updates.