A Busy Day for Health Care Reform. What you need to know.

This is one of the busiest days for change in health care reform that I have seen in a long time. Wait, scratch that. When is not changing. For a common consumer to keep up with the changes is almost a nightmare. Here is what you need to know.

Confused? You are not alone.

Confused? You are not alone.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is the government body that oversees the rules and regulations of health care reform we are in the midst of. They announced today that there is a new special enrollment period (SEP) for those individuals and families that did not have health insurance in 2014 and are finding out they are subject to a fee known as the shared responsibility payment now that it is tax time and they are filing taxes for the year 2014.  The caveat to the entire thing is these families or individuals must not have known or not understood the implications of not having health insurance until it came time to file their taxes. I am not sure how they exactly plan on determining if someone knew or understood the implications of not having health insurance, however, that is not my issue to deal with.

Since the Open Enrollment Period wrapped up on February 15 and it is too late for them to now enroll and will face double the percentage of yearly household income (minus the threshold, of course. I just don’t want to explain all of that right now.) OR a flat fee of $325 PER ADULT or $162.50 PER CHILD when paying their taxes in 2016 for the 2015 year, CMS so graciously has opened this SEP so they can get a health plan. The SEP is March 15, 2015 and will end at 11:59 PM E.S.T. on April 30, 2015.

Oh, and remember those subsidies people were talking about? Yep. They apply during the SEP. Not quite sure what the subsidies are? We wanted to share with you one of our favorite charts we found. See below.

CMS also launched a new tool for consumers today both on healthcare.gov and CuidadodeSalud.gov to assist in finding any exemptions to for not having health insurance.

The New York Times reported today that 800,000 consumers that signed up through healthcare.gov were sent incorrect tax data.  Consumers can expect to receive corrected data the first week of March. Oopsy. It is a wonderful article written by Robert Pear. I highly recommend the read. I will place a link below. I am still researching to find out exactly what happened, how consumers can find out if they need to wait for new paperwork before filing their 2014 taxes, and all those other little details that people NEED to know.

Bottom line – Health Care is changing. Try to keep up.

Happy Friday. – Kristina Carson


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CBPP, Premium Tax Credits: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions, 7/201
26 CFR 601.105: Examination of returns and claims for refund, credit, or abatement; determination of correct tax liability.02 Section 36B Required Contribution Percentage for 2015.

Click here to view the Exemptions Tool from CMS.

Click here to read the article referenced above from today’s The New York Times.

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