Monday, February 16, 2015

The Elephant In Room.....Are You Being Crushed By Obamacare Taxes?

By Coleen Elkins

Are you on a Medicare Advantage Plan, Under 65 individual plan for yourself and your family or on group benefits plan at work? YOU ARE paying taxes accessed to your health insurance policy.  These taxes will increase each year!

There are six new taxes accessed by the law. These are taxes that did not exist on health insurance policies prior to March of 2010.

1. Patient-Centered Outcome Research Institute (Comparative Effectiveness) Fee

2. Annual Heath Insurance Industry Fee

3. Trhansitional Reinsurance Program Assessment Fee

4. Risk Adjustment Program User Fee

5. Marketplace ie: Exchange User Fees

6. Cadillac Excise Tax (for high cost plans)

What does this mean to you in cost?

Impact on individual market consumers: Increase premiums over a ten-year period for single coverage by an average $2,150, and for family coverage an average $5,080.

Impact on small employers: Increase premiums over a ten-year period for single coverage by an average $2,760, and for family coverage an average $6,830.

Impact on large employers: Increase premiums over a ten-year period for single coverage by an average $2,610, and for family coverage an average $7,130.

Impact on Medicare Advantage beneficiaries: Increase costs $16 to $20 per member per month in 2014 and will increase to between $32 and $42 by 2023.  The average expected increase in the cost of Medicare Advantage coverage over ten years is $3,590.

Is there relief in sight? Possibly!

There is a new bill House Bill that would repeal the tax. Representative Charles Boustany Jr. (R-LA)
he is joined by Representative Krysten Sinema (D-AZ) which is interesting. Krysten Sinema has been  an advid Obamacare supporter since she has taken office.

Rep. Boustany says the tax hurts individuals and businesses by increasing premiums and out of pockets. Boustany spent 30 years as a cardiovascular surgeon. In his comments to explain his actions he said this. "American families and small businesses are on the brink of being crushed under the weight of the Health Insurance Tax,” Boustany said in a statement, adding that the tax threatens “hundreds of thousands of lost jobs over the next decade.”The tax is an important revenue source for the Affordable Care Act, amounting to $8 billion in 2014 and rising to $14.3 billion by 2018, though the Congressional Budget Office has warned it would be “largely passed through to consumers in the form of higher premiums.”

Note: Open enrollment for Obamacare has ended for individual health insurance for those under age 65. Only those who have a qualified event can now enroll in health insurance. To learn about the law  visit our website and to learn about Medicare and how to maximize your benefits at retirement visit our website

Thursday, February 5, 2015

How Four Words May Impact Your Life Dramatically!

By Coleen Elkins
On March 4, 2015 The Supreme Court will begin hearing the lawsuit King vs. Burwell. The lawsuit boils down to four words written in the Affordable Care Act Law itself. Those words are beginning to echo repeatedly as the time approaches. The four words are "established by the state". When the Supreme Court hears a case they must rule on the law as it is written. The Court's job is not to find the intent of the author(s) of the law. 

If Court finds the law is held to those four words it may mean that the Federal Exchange was never intended to exist as part of the law. Thirty six states never created exchanges of their own and one more state dissolved their exchange after a disastrous failure and looked to the Federal Exchange to insure their subsidized residents for 2015. 

The law's top official Sylvia Burwell has refused to discuss "Plan B" in the event the law is ruled against. She is insistent President Obama is confident the Supreme Court will rule in the laws favor. They have not warned their customers their subsidies could be in danger. 

The new Republican Congress has drafted "Plan B" without the participation of Ms. Burwell. The proposal is not yet a bill, and would offer tax credits to people making up to 300 percent of the federal poverty level. Slightly lower threshold than currently in place. 

Preexisting medical conditions could not be denied when switching coverage as long as they have been continuously covered for at least 18 months. The uninsured would qualify to enroll for a onetime enrollment period. Health insurance could be purchased across state lines which would open up competition.

The Supreme Court decision is expected by the end of June. 

The deadline to enroll in health insurance under the Affordable Care Act for 2015 is February 15th. If you or someone you know has not enrolled in health insurance by then you will be unable to do so without a special election period or qualifying event. 

You can learn more by visiting our website: