ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
76°
Few Clouds
H 88° L 64°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    76°
    Current Conditions
    Partly Cloudy. H 88° L 64°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    84°
    Evening
    Partly Cloudy. H 88° L 64°
  • clear-night
    65°
    Morning
    Clear. H 87° L 66°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest top stories

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

Health
Health reform: What's coming in 2013
Close

Health reform: What's coming in 2013

Health reform: What's coming in 2013
Photo Credit: Kent Johnson / kjohnson@ajc.com
LPN Megan Antunez gives a an allergy shot to Palmer King, 10, during an office visit to the Atlanta Allergy Clinic Monday, September 10, 2012.

Health reform: What's coming in 2013

The year 2012 was a big year for the Affordable Care Act.

It survived a Supreme Court challenge and another during the presidential election. With President Obama in office for another four years, the health reform law will continue down the road to take full effect in 2014. But there is much work yet to be done, and 2013 promises to be a very active year.

Health Insurance Exchanges Go Online

The big story to watch in 2013 will be the development of state-based health insurance exchanges. These marketplaces will allow uninsured people and small businesses to shop for, compare, and enroll in health plans. Only through the exchanges will people learn if they qualify for and can take advantage of  federal tax subsidies to help cover the cost of insurance. Exchanges must be up and running by Oct. 1, 2013, and it’s going to be a mad rush to get the job done.

States were given the option to build their own exchanges and had until Dec. 14 to decide. Just 18 states and the District of Columbia agreed to build their own. Seven states have opted for a partnership exchange, a model where the states and federal government work together to operate the marketplace. That leaves the federal government to put in place health insurance exchanges in the remaining 25 states that declined to participate. 

Increased Medicare Taxes on the Wealthy

If you have Medicare coverage and earn more than $200,000 a year or are part of a married couple earning more than $250,000 annually, get ready to pay higher taxes for Medicare hospital insurance (Medicare Part A) in 2013.

Starting in January, taxes will rise by 0.9%, up to 2.35%, on earnings above $200,000 for individual taxpayers. In addition, income earned from investments (as opposed to salary) will face a 3.8% tax assessment.

Together, these two Medicare tax increases are expected to raise a total of $210 billion over 10 years to help pay for the changes brought by the health reform law.

Changes to Itemized Medical Deductions

For years we’ve been allowed to deduct unreimbursed medical costs that amount to 7.5% of our adjusted gross income. Starting next year, anyone under the age of 65 will see that threshold increase to 10%.

Limits to FSA Contributions

Flexible spending accounts (FSAs) allow people to set aside pre-tax salary dollars to pay for medical expenses not covered by insurance. Starting in January, contributions to these accounts will be limited to $2,500 a year.

Medicaid Expansion Becomes Optional

The Supreme Court’s ruling earlier this year brought changes to the part of the law that expanded the Medicaid program to include more low income Americans. The expansion allows for individuals who earn about $15,400 a year and families that earn about $26,300 annually to participate. In its decision, the court said the Medicaid expansion will be optional for states, not a requirement.

In response, many governors opposed to the law said they would refuse to expand their Medicaid programs. To date, 18 states have agreed to broaden rules for their Medicaid program, 11 states have said they would not expand their programs, and 16 remain undecided.

SOURCES: Cornell University Law School Legal Information Institute: "Supreme Court Toolbox."Urban Institute.Avalere: "Two-Thirds of Exchange Enrollees Will Buy Through Federally-Administered Exchanges in 2014."Kaiser Family Foundation: "Health Reform Source Implementation Timeline."Healthcare.gov. Affordable Insurance Exchanges: State Partnership Model: http://www.healthcare.gov/news/factsheets/2011/09/exchanges09192011a.htmlHealthcare.gov: "Progress Continues in Setting up Health Insurance Marketplaces." Kaiser Family Foundation: "State Decisions for Creating Health Insurance Exchanges in 2014."Towers Watson: "High-Income Individuals to Pay Higher Medicare Taxes Starting in 2013."

© 2012 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

The Latest News Headlines

  •  An Ohio man has been accused of stabbing his roommate after an alleged fight over loud music. >> Read more trending news Wayne Skaggs, 53 of Springfield, appeared in Clark County Municipal Court on Monday on a felonious assault charge. He pleaded not guilty. Police alleged he stabbed Doug Vance, also of Springfield, on March 16. According to court records, Skaggs allegedly became angry at Vance for playing music too loud at their home in the 1300 block of Cedarview Drive West in Springfield. Officers were first called to the home shortly after midnight after Skaggs reportedly locked Vance out of the house they share. Skaggs then agreed to let Vance back in if he turned the music down, police said. Officers were called back to the house a short time later and found Vance with stab wounds to his neck and arm. The men had begun arguing again shortly after officers had left, police said, and Skaggs allegedly stabbed Vance. As Skaggs was being detained, he allegedly yelled to a neighbor that he had stabbed someone and was going to jail, police said. Officers said they found a knife in an upstairs bedroom and another knife outside the home. If convicted, Skaggs could face up to eight years in prison and a $15,000 fine.
  • Still smarting from last week’s meltdown on a bill to overhaul the Obama health law, House Republicans used a closed door “family meeting” in the U.S. Capitol to both clear the air, and see if there was a way to push forward again on a plan to make major changes to Obamacare. “We had a very constructive meeting with our members,” said Speaker Paul Ryan about the focus on a GOP measure on health care reform. “I’m not going to put a timeline on it.” “I think there’s a good healthy discussion going on in there,” said Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA), one Republican who has been publicly critical of the more conservative group of lawmakers known as the Freedom Caucus. “We need to not quit until the moment that we find the right solutions,” said Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL). Various GOP lawmakers described the meeting as a “soul searching” moment; one said it was a “family feud of sorts.” “It was really about trying the best we can to come together,” said Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY), a prime ally of President Donald Trump in the House. While Collins said the GOP should avoid recriminations, he still managed to throw some verbal elbows at the Freedom Caucus, at one point labeling them as a group of “perfectionists on our far right.” As for the Freedom Caucus, the leader of that group again said they are willing to reach a deal on health care, as Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) urged lawmakers to postpone a scheduled Easter break if needed to forge a deal. Freedom Caucus Chair Meadows say he doesn't think members should go home for recess until they pass healthcare bill, wants to get to 'yes' — Deirdre Walsh (@deirdrewalshcnn) March 28, 2017 Others in the Freedom Caucus though were ready to support only one thing first, and that is repeal of the Obama health law – and then move on to figure out what’s next. “We will find out who is truly for repealing Obamacare, and who is not,” said Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), who says he will use a process known as a “discharge petition” to try to force action on his bill to just repeal the Obama health law. In the end, while there was a lot of positive talk about moving forward, there was no concrete sign that somehow differences had been bridged among more moderate and conservative lawmakers in the GOP on health care. GOP SUMMARY: Republicans cannot agree on whether to agree to disagree. — Lisa Desjardins (@LisaDNews) March 28, 2017 After the meeting, Speaker Paul Ryan echoed the assessments of his rank and file. “This discussion was an honest and very constructive step forward,” he told reporters. But there was no immediate breakthrough on an overhaul of the Obama health law.
  • Two Miami police officers are recovering after they were injured in an ambush-style attack during a gang sweep Monday night. >> Read more trending stories The officers were conducting surveillance around 10 p.m. outside the Annie Coleman apartment complex near NW 60th Street and 20th Avenue when they were ambushed by two people and shot, Miami-Dade police director Juan Perez said. John Rivera, president of the Miami-Dade police union, told the Miami Herald that the officers were in an unmarked car when the attack took place. Rivera said six people were involved in the attack. “They were outnumbered and outgunned,” he told the Herald. “God was watching over them tonight.” One of the officers was shot in the leg, the other in the arm, the Herald reported. Maj. Hector Llevat said one of the officers returned fire, but it was not immediately clear whether he hit his assailants. The gunmen were able to elude police and remained at large Tuesday morning. The officers were not identified, however police told WFOR that they have been with the department for 26 and 11 years, respectively. They were taken from the scene of the shooting by fellow officers, who pulled them from the “hot zone” into a pickup truck and took them to Miami’s Jackson Ryder Trauma Center. “They are lucky to be alive,” Perez told WFOR. “It’s been a while since I’ve seen a car hit by so many rounds. A high-powered weapon struck that vehicle and the officers should be counting their blessings today. We certainly are counting our blessings.” Both officers were listed in stable condition Tuesday morning. Police continued to search for the gunmen responsible for the attack, who are considered armed and dangerous.
  • New charges have been filed against the Jacksonville Beach man accused of murdering and dismembering a Nassau County teen more than 20 years ago.  Ronnie Hyde, 60, was arrested earlier this month for the 1994 murder of Fred Laster. According to Duval County court records, Hyde now faces an additional 12 counts for possessing photographs of sexual performance by a child.   The additional charges were filed on March 28.  Laster was reported missing in 1995, but he wasn’t tied to the body found behind a dumpster in Lake City until Feb. 2016. Laster’s sister told investigators she had last seen her brother with Hyde.  Hyde worked with children as a counselor through a Jacksonville church, leading investigators to believe there may be more victims. 
  • Dayton, Ohio, firefighter/paramedics say they responded to 32 overdoses from Saturday to Sunday -- three times as many ODs this past weekend as the same weekend period a year ago.  >> Read more trending news  And they say their task is made more complicated when children are witnesses to the aftermath of overdoses. 'I think it's starting to get worse, honestly,' Dayton resident Aaron Gibbons told News Center 7's Kate Bartley on Monday.  Bryan Adams, Dayton Fire Department public information officer, said, 'obviously it takes an emotional toll any time you deal with families. I think it becomes even more complicated when you're trying to explain a situation or deal with children who don't understand the cause.'   Incidents where there are two or more overdose victims are becoming more commonplace, he said.  Adams said the situation becomes troublesome when it's over and over and over.  'So when you think of the 32 we've had over a two-day period this past weekend, that takes a toll on the first responders who are going out to these calls as well,' Adams said.

The Latest News Videos