10 health care reforms on track for 2013 after Obama election win

US President Barack Obama arriveS on stage after winning the 2012 US presidential election November 7, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. Obama swept to re-election, forging history again by defying the dragging economic recovery and high unemployment which haunted his first term to beat Republican Mitt Romney. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)


10 health care reforms on track for 2013 after Obama election win

Storified by Digital First Media · Thu, Nov 08 2012 11:25:10

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — sometimes called “Obamacare” — will go into effect over several years. With the race for the White House decided, stakeholders in health care reform can expect the law to roll out as planned. Here are 10 provisions that go into effect in 2013.
Naplesnews
(Associated Press photo)

Medicare

1. Federal subsidies begin phasing in for brand-name prescriptions filled in the Medicare Part D coverage gap to reduce out of pocket costs for beneficiaries. Coinsurance will drop from the 2010 level of 100 percent of costs to co-payments of 25 percent in 2020.

Additionally, a 50 percent discount automatically will be applied at the pharmacy counter on Part D-covered prescription drugs while beneficiaries are in the doughnut hole.
Effective date: Jan. 1, 2013

2. The Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) tax rate will increase from 1.45 percent to 2.35 percent on earnings over $200,000 for single taxpayers and $250,000 for married couples filing jointly. When it comes to higher-income earners, there will also be a new 3.8 percent assessment on unearned income, such as investment returns.
Effective date: Jan. 1, 2013
3. Disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments will fall initially by 75 percent. These are annual allotments states pass on to hospitals that serve disproportionate numbers of low-income patients. Medicaid DSH also will be reduced.

Subsequently, payments will increase based on the percent of uninsured persons hospitals serve and the amount of uncompensated care that is provided.
Effective date: Oct. 1, 2013

Medicaid

4. Federal matching payments for preventative services will rise by 1 percentage point for states that offer Medicaid coverage with no patient cost sharing for services and immunizations they receive, as recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.
Effective date: Jan. 1, 2013

Children’s Health Insurance Program

5. CHIP funding is authorized through 2013 but will be extended until 2015.
Effective date: Jan. 1, 2013
Ap
(Associated Press photo)

Taxes

6. The threshold for the itemized deduction for non-reimbursed medical expenses goes up from 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI) to 10 percent of AGI. That jump is waived, however, for taxpayers age 65 and older in tax years 2013 to 2016.Effective date: Jan. 1, 2013
7. A 2.3 percent excise tax will be imposed on medical device manufacturers.
Effective date: Jan. 1, 2013

Flexible Spending Accounts

8. Contributions to health care flexible spending accounts to cover medical expenses will be capped at $2,500 per year, but could go up based on cost-of-living adjustments. Currently there is no legal limit, but there is a use-it-or-lose-it rule for contributed funds.
Effective date: Jan. 1, 2013

Retiree prescription drug subsidies

9. The tax deduction for employers who receive Medicare Part D drug subsidies for retirees will be eliminated. Some employers have been shifting more costs to retirees despite getting government dollars to offset their costs.
Effective date: Jan. 1, 2013
Politico
(Associated Press photo)

Penalties

10. Penalties will be imposed on employers who do not withhold sufficient Medicare payroll taxes for
employees. Effective Date: Jan. 1, 2013

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