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Coming to one of the 50 states you reside in – affordable health care insurance? Retail medical services?

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Here’s wishing everyone a safe, healthy new year in 2013.  Are you any better informed on what the new health law/Affordable Health Care Act will bring?  Perhaps like myself, you may have questions like these:

*Where is there affordable health insurance as a part-time/un(der) employed worker, who does not expect to be eligible to receive it via his/her employer or expect to continue to coverage via their ex-employer?

Depending on your individual situation/income, you may wish to seek…

a) Medicaid for yourself and/or family members
(See Fla Dept.  of Health Care or Fla. Department of Children/Families

b) Medicare (if 65 yrs and over)
(See Medicare.gov)

b)Palm Beach Health Care District Insurance
(See http://www.pbchd.com/centers/healthcenters.html, Vitahealth.org)

c) Other private medical insurance
(See HealthCare.gov)

*What will be some likely pros, cons, or costs of having to purchase insurance versus paying a tax penalty beginning in 2014?

Individuals need to weigh or compare how much they’ll be likely to spend in health insurance coverage against what they may have to pay in federal income tax.

As I understand it, beginning in the federal tax year 2014 an uninsured person will have to pay the greater of a penalty/flat rate per person or a percentage of one’s taxable income.  That rate will be phased in/stepped up and eventually capped each year to the national average cost for purchasing a health insurance plan.    (By 2016 the flat rate will be the greater of $695 for each adult person without medical insurance.  Thereafter, the penalty will be indexed/linked to the rate of inflation.  There will also be various exemptions from having to pay the penalty, however.)

See Devin Dwyer’s “Health Care Law Mandate ‘Tax’: How Much Is It?”  at ABC News, June 28, 2012.

*How will uninsured Floridians be able to purchase health insurance if the state of Florida will not set up a health exchange for them, as required by the Act? 

This is one question there may be no answer for at this time. 

I have found little mention on the Federal government setting up a Florida health exchange in the absence of the state of Florida doing so.  More information on the creation of the health exchange will likely be available in the spring.

———————————————————-

Meanwhile, I’ve been coming across other interesting news stories, such as retail pharmacy chain CVS and retail giant Walmart expanding to offer health clinics in their stores:
Bruce Japsen, New York Times, “More Health Clinics Pop Up Inside Retailers,” January 9, 2012.

You may also wish check the following websites periodically:

The Advisory Board’s ACA’s Medicaid expansion website at http://www.advisory.com/Daily-Briefing/2012/11/09/MedicaidMap

Are you wondering where Florida stands on expansion of Medicaid compared to other states?  The Advisory Board has a current Medicaid Expansion map.  The Advisory Board is “a global research, technology, and consulting firm partnering with 150,000 leaders in 3,700+ organizations across health care and higher education.”

AHCA/Florida Agency for Health Care Administration at http://www.fdhc.state.fl.us/#aa

This agency administers the State of Florida’s Medicaid program for 3 million Floridians and 41 health clinics.  It also offers current news and alerts on health care provisions and changes.  On the site you can search for a facility near you.

HealthCare.gov at http://www.healthcare.gov/index.html

This is the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ website for the new Patient and Affordable Health Care Act.   On the site, you can search for private medical insurance in your state, find out basic information on insurers and understanding insurance coverage, learn more about how the new health care law will impact you, comparing providers (in terms of coverage, physicians, home health agencies and nursing homes, as well as dialysis facilities.  There is also a news section on prevention and wellness.

Internal Revenue Service Information on Affordable Care Act Tax Provisions at http://www.irs.gov/uac/Affordable-Care-Act-Tax-Provisions

On this portion of the IRS website, there is a list of proposed/issued  Affordable Care Act provisions that will impact taxpayers.  This page is continuously updated.  One particular provision individual uninsured adult Americans should watch is the Health Insurance Premium Tax Credit.

 The Congressional Budget Office’s information on Payments of Penalties for Being Uninsured Under the Affordable Care Act at http://cbo.gov/publication/43628

The CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation estimate about 30 million non-senior Americans will be uninsured in 2016, but many of them will not likely be affected by the tax penalty.  For more on this, please see the CBO report and also the short April 22, 2010 statement below at

http://cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/ftpdocs/113xx/doc11355/individual_mandate_penalties-04-22.pdf

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