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How Obamacare Will Affect You

June 18, 2013

The Affordable Care Act hasn’t been fully implemented yet, but the government has started to introduce ways to make buying health insurance easy for the people.

Starting September 23, 2012, health insurance issuers and group health plans are required to give all inquirers a summary about health plans’ benefits and coverages so that consumers can decide which healthcare plan is best. It is a regulation that health insurance issuers and group health plans are required to follow.

When you buy health insurance, insurance companies and group health plans must give you the standard Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) form so that you can compare different health plans and choose the right one for you. Apart from your right to receive the SBC, you can also request a glossary of terms that explains the terms used in healthcare coverage, such as deductible, co-payment, and so on.

As far as tax filing is concerned, the IRS determines which taxpayers qualify for a health insurance premium tax credit. Last year, the Supreme Court decided that Congress could regulate healthcare because of its ability to tax, which has given the IRS new responsibilities. Americans will need to report their insurance status to the IRS when filing taxes.

The information that insurers need to include in their tax filing will include their name, social security number, and whether the health plan is “government-approved” and complies with the mandate or not. The form that Americans will need to attach with their tax returns has not yet been released by the IRS.

There are many more tax provisions under the new law that still need to take effect. 47 tax provisions for the Small-Business Healthcare Credit and Medical Devices Tax will be administered by the IRS after the remaining tax provisions take effect. For more information on healthcare coverage, visit the Health and Human Services website.

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