Learning Center
Plans & pricing Sign in
Sign Out

Health Care Reform Bill Summary (PDF)



More Info

 Health Care Reform Bill Summary
After what seems like forever, Congress has
finally passed a health care reform bill.
President Obama's major goal for the early
part of his term seems within reach. The
question is, though, what is in this bill?
What real changes will people experience as
a result of all this wrangling? Or are these
all political games with little real impact?
Read on for a summary of the actual changes
to health care from the new health reform
The most important thing to realize about
the reform is that it's phased in - most of
the changes don't come into play when
President Obama signs the bill into law
(which is expected to be Tuesday, March 23,
2009). The changes activate over the next
decade. Here are the major changes and their
Health Reform Bill Contents
Before 2011:
* Small businesses get a tax credit to
contribute to new health insurance for
* Children cannot be excluded from receiving
health insurance from providers due to pre-
existing conditions.
* Until the    new health insurance exchanges
come online    in 2014, current uninsured
adults with    pre-existing conditions will be
able to buy    subsidized health care coverage.
* Companies can use a temporary health
"reinsurance program" to provide benefits
for 55-64 year old retirees.
* Being diagnosed with a new illness is no
longer grounds for losing your health
insurance coverage. Additionally, insurance
providers will no longer be able to cap your
lifetime health benefits, and their ability
to limit annual coverage will be restricted.
* There is currently a Medicare prescription
drug loophole between roughly $2700 and
$6200 worth of medicine. The reform bill
both provides a $250 rebate to Medicare
beneficiaries that fall into this loophole
and provides for the gap's closing.
* The age up to which children will be able
to use their parents health coverage is
raised to 26 up from the previous 19 or
college graduation.
* Indoor tanning services with ultraviolet
lights will see a 10% tax on their services
starting July 1st, 2009
In 2011:
* Large pharmaceutical firms will be taxed
additionally based on market share.
* General surgeons and primary care
physicians will see a 10% raise in bonus
* Medicare advantage payments are frozen at
2010 levels and will eventually come more
into line with traditional Medicare
* States will have a new program to offer
in-home care to poor patients who would
otherwise require a hospital visit.
* Employees will be able to see the value
of their health benefits on their W-2 forms.
* An annual free wellness visit and
customized prevention plan analysis will be
offered free to all Medicare beneficiaries.
Any additional new health care plans will be
required to offer such services and their
resulting preventive care at little or no
cost to Medicare patients.
In 2012:
* At each level, hospital, physician, and
Medicare, programs and controls are
implemented that reduce readmission rates,
improve quality outcomes for patients, and
encourage more accountability among
healthcare professionals.
In 2013:
* Higher income tax payers (>$200,000 for
singles, >$250,000 for joint filings) will
have their payroll tax increase from 1.45%
to 2.35% as well as pay a 3.8% investment
income tax.
* Tax payers can claim medical expenses on
itemized tax returns at a 10% rate instead
of 7.5%. Elderly tax payers can continue
this till 2017.
* Non-public medical device taxes will be
additionally taxed at 2.9%.
* The programs begun in 2012 are continued
and extended.
In 2014:
* Employers with >50 employees will be fined
$2000 for every employee after number 30 if
they do not provide employer health
* Most people will be fined if they do not
have health insurance, either through an
employer or privately. Tax credits for
purchasing health care through an exchange
will be offered to those with incomes up to
400% of poverty levels.
* Similar to the 2011 pharmaceutical taxes,
in 2014 health insurance companies will be
taxed by market share.
* It will no longer be legal to exclude
someone from receiving health insurance for
having a pre-existing medical condition.
* State-level health insurance exchanges
will open, allowing individuals and
organizations to shop around for cheaper
health insurance.
In 2015:
* Medicare shifts to rewarding quality of
care rather than amount of services.
In 2018:
* Higher cost employer health insurance
plans ("Cadillac" health insurance) is
taxed, with exemptions for the first $27,000
for families and $10000 for individuals.

To top