Affordable Healthcare Act Changes for 2015
By Jason Province
It’s that time of year again folks as we are now about half way through the new enrollment period for health insurance. For those of you uncertain what the enrollment period is it’s November 15, 2014 to February 15, 2015. Last year’s struggle to navigate the marketplace had many businesses and families scratching their heads as servers crashed and vague explanations of how to use the new marketplace headed most of the problems experienced. This year looks to be getting off to a better start as 7.1 million Americans have already signed up for healthcare for 2015.
Some changes come along with the new year with AHCA and the biggest being taxes. Some states that did not offer a marketplace of their own offered a tax credit to consumers using the federal marketplace. What you may not know is that the credit comes with certain tax implications that will be enforced this coming tax seasoning. A tax credit was given upfront to some qualifying consumers based on projections for income and tax statues for the 2014 year. When doing taxes this year, the credit amount will be reviewed for what you actually earned and if any changes have occurred since the credit was given. These changes can include change of address, divorce, getting married, having children, or even getting a different job with a higher wage or lower wage.
It is good to point out also that healthcare plans you signed up for may not be available in 2015 as most of the plans end on December 31, 2014 and many are coming back with changes. You shouldn’t have too much of a struggle, however, finding a newer plan as insurers are offering 25 percent more plans this year than last year. Not all regions will have new plans but most will.
The biggest change between last year and this year with the Affordable Healthcare Act involves penalties. We’ve been hearing about the consequences for not signing up for health insurance since before the bill was put into law and this is the year the penalties are enforced.
Come this tax season if you were not covered in 2014 you will pay the fees associated with 2014, which is explained on the far left of the chart above (obamacarefacts.com). Looking ahead you can see what the fees will be for 2015 and 2016. There are those who will qualify for an exemption of the fee and the list of those exemptions can be found at the following link: http://obamacarefacts.com/obamacare-mandate-exemption-penalty/
Business’s aren’t out of the loop either this year as employers with 100 or more employees are required this year to offer coverage to their full time workers which under the Affordable Healthcare Act is anyone working 30 hours or more in a week. Also Businesses with 50 or fewer employees may start using SHOP (Small Business Health Options Program). SHOP is a marketplace that allows qualifying small businesses to find lower cost group plans and apply for tax credits.
There are not many changes to the Affordable Healthcare Act in 2015 but the changes are important and you should take a minute to look them over and make a plan if any of them affect you or your family. For more information on changes you can go to the following link: http://obamacarefacts.com/obamacare-2015/