Health Care Law

Insurance Market Reforms – The new law requires insurance plans to provide coverage to any individual who requests insurance. It also includes a prohibition on pre-existing condition restrictions in the individual and small group health care market. Health insurance premiums would be allowed to vary based only on tobacco use, age, family composition, and geographic location. Large employers that purchase coverage through a health care exchange would be eligible for the above insurance protections. Both self-insured and fully-insured plans are required to provide dependent coverage for children up to age 26. Health plans are also prohibited from establishing annual and lifetime dollar limits on coverage.

Wellness Programs – Employers can offer increased incentives or rewards to employees for participation in a wellness program or for meeting certain health status targets beginning in 2014. Rewards or premium reductions up to 30 percent of the cost of coverage are now permissible.

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) – Contributions to health FSAs would be capped at $2,500 beginning in 2011 and over-the-counter medicines would only qualify for reimbursement with a doctor’s prescription.

Medicare Hospital Insurance Tax – Beginning in 2013, an additional Medicare tax of 0.9 percent is imposed on individuals with income in excess of $250,000 for joint filers or $200,000 for single filers.

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