Health care insurance penalties kick in starting 2015
(In case you havenít figured it out, itís really a tax)
December 30, 2014
In 2015, Americans will get hit with a huge new tax. The government will start putting the squeeze on anyone who doesnít participate in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the socialization of the American health care system, commonly known as Obamacare.
In 2015, every citizen is required to report to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on their tax returns if they had health care insurance the previous year. Those who didnít purchase health care insurance policies in 2014 and remain uninsured will face punishment fines which will get increasingly punitive over the next several years.
For 2014, the fine is the greater of $95 per person or 1% of household income above the threshold for filing taxes, taken out of the taxpayerís refund if they get one. In 2015, the fine will jump to the greater of 2% of income or $325. By 2016, the average penalty fine will be a hefty $1,100. It is not yet clear how the IRS will collect fines from those not receiving a tax refund.
Under Obamacare, those buying health care insurance are finding their affordable insurance premiums ranging from around $100 to over $1,100 per month depending on state, age and eligibility for government subsidies. The fines are intended to nudge people into the insurance pool because their contributions are needed to spread the cost of paying for all the medical benefits being paid for by the government. Someone ultimately has to pay to cover the cost of medical services people are getting "for free" through the many government-paid (= taxpayer funded) benefit programs and covered as benefits paid by insurance companies (= billed to government = paid for by taxpayers).
Below is a list of health benefits required in all Obamacare-approved health care insurance coverage plans (insurance only pays after you've paid up to the annual deductable amount specified in your particular policy):
1. Maternity and newborn care Womenís pregnancy (prenatal care), throughout labor, delivery and post-delivery, and care for newborn babies. (guys, youíre paying for this too)
2. Pediatric services Care provided to infants and children, including well-child visits and recommended vaccines and immunizations. Dental and vision care must be offered to children younger than 19. This includes two routine dental exams, an eye exam and corrective lenses each year. (childless people, youíre paying for this too)
3. Emergency Services (trips to the emergency room) Care for conditions that could lead to serious disability or death if not immediately treated, such as accidents or sudden illness. Typically, this is a trip to the emergency room, and includes transport by ambulance.
4. Hospitalization (treatment in the hospital for inpatient care) Care received as a hospital patient, including care from doctors, nurses and other hospital staff, laboratory and other tests, medications received during a hospital stay, and room and board. Hospitalization coverage also includes surgeries, transplants and care received in a skilled nursing facility, such as a nursing home that specializes in the care of the elderly.
5. Laboratory services Testing provided to help a doctor diagnose an injury, illness or condition, or to monitor the effectiveness of a particular treatment. Some preventive screenings, such as breast cancer screenings and prostrate exams, are provided free of charge.
6. Prescription drugs Medications prescribed by a doctor to treat an illness or condition, including prescription antibiotics and medications used to treat an ongoing condition, such as high cholesterol.
7. Ambulatory patient services (Outpatient care) Care received without being admitted to a hospital, such as at a doctorís office, clinic or same-day ("outpatient") surgery center. Home health services and hospice care.
8. Mental health services and addiction treatment Inpatient and outpatient care provided to evaluate, diagnose and treat a mental health condition or substance abuse disorder, including behavioral health treatment, counseling, and psychotherapy.
9. Rehabilitative services and devices Rehabilitative services (help recovering skills, like speech therapy after a stroke) and habilitative services (help developing skills, like speech therapy for children) and devices to help gain or recover mental and physical skills lost to injury, disability or a chronic condition. Plans have to provide 30 visits each year for either physical or occupational therapy, or visits to the chiropractor. Plans must also cover 30 visits for speech therapy as well as 30 visits for cardiac or pulmonary rehab.
10. Preventive services, wellness services, and chronic disease treatment This includes counseling, preventive care, such as physicals, immunizations and screenings, like cancer screenings, designed to prevent or detect certain medical conditions. Also, care for chronic conditions, such as asthma and diabetes.
Click on this link to read more: Being uninsured in America will cost you more Government to start collecting health law fines from uninsured; penalties set to rise in 2015, Yahoo Finance, Dec. 30, 2014