Your source for the latest on Health care reform.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Supreme Court takes up challenge to health care reform

The Supreme court has agreed to decide the constitutionality of the health care reform law of Barack Obama. The high court agrees to hear two major questions: whether the law's key provision is unconstitutional, and if so, whether the entire law must be eliminated.

The major issue will decide if the "individual mandate" section - which requires nearly all Americans to buy health insurance in 2014 or face financial penalties --is an improper exercise of federal authority.

My feeling is the odds are in Obama administrations favor that it will not be struck down. Legal analysts say this is one of the toughest challenges the high court faces in a decade.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Pre-existing health plan in Kentucky available

The federal govt. has a pre-existing health plan in Kentucky going into effect September 1st, 2011. If you've been without health insurance for 6 months and have a pre-existing condition, then you qualify for this plan. Rates are inexpensive. Also, available in Indiana.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Health Savings Account updates

2012 Minimums and Maximums for Health Savings Accounts and High-Deductible Health Plans
On May 16, 2011, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Revenue Procedure 2011-32,1 which announced various inflation-adjusted amounts for 2012 for Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and High-Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs). The IRS calculates the annual adjustments using the 12-month period ending March 31.

The 2012 numbers are shown in the chart below.

2012 Minimums and Maximums for HSAs* and HDHPs

Individual Coverage

Maximum Annual
HSA Contribution** $3,100
(up $50 from
$3,050 for 2011)


(up $100 from
$6,150 for 2011)

Minimum HDHP Deductible

(same as for 2011) $2,400
(same as for 2011)

Maximum HDHP
Out-of-Pocket Expense*** $6,050
(up $100 from
$5,950 for 2011)
(up $200 from
$11,900 for 2011)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Question from current member today

"What is going on with healthcare reform? What's going to happen?"

Under the The Patient Protection and Affordable care act or ACA passed in March, 2010:

By 2014, you will be able to compare and buy insurance on a health insurance exchange. The exchange will offer a choice of approved insurance plans. It will also help you find the best plan for you and your family.

In 2014, a person with income below 400% of the federal poverty level (currently $43,560 for a single person) can get a subsidy to buy health insurance. The subsidy will be higher for those with lower income. If you are under 65 and make less than 133% of the FPL (currently $12,305 for a single person) you can get Medicaid in 2014.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Question of the day: "Healthcare reform penalty"

A client of mine asked me what is the deal with the health care penalty they're discussing. Will I be penalized for not taking out a health care plan in 2014?

Answer -

Starting in 2014 all U.S. citizens and legal residents will have to have health insurance, or what is known as qualifying health coverage, which includes coverage through your job, a government plan (such as Medicaid, Medicare, Veterans Administration, and the Armed Services), or a health plan you have purchased on your own.

If you don’t have health insurance, you will pay a tax penalty that will be phased in starting in 2014 with a fine of $95. In 2015, the penalty will increase to $325, and in 2016 to $695 or a percentage of your taxable income. After 2016, your penalty will be increased every year according to the changes in the cost of living.

Are Exemptions or Help Available?
You may be eligible for an exemption or you may be able to get help paying for health insurance it if your income is low.

Exemptions will be granted for the following:

•you have a financial hardship
•you have a genuine religious objection
•you are an American Indian
•you have been without health coverage for less than three months
•you are an undocumented immigrant
•you are in prison
•the lowest cost health plan available in your area exceeds 8% of your income

Saturday, March 19, 2011