Resource to Help Understand Healthcare Law

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, aka “Obamacare”) was back in the news last week as a topic during the first Presidential Debate between President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney.

Nearly two years after the legislation was passed, its impacts are still being debated (literally) and evaluated. Recently, the National Federation of Independent Businesses produced a helpful crib sheet titled “PPACA: A Healthcare Law Guide for Employees.” It does a good job of briefly explaining some of the key impacts of the law.

It highlights both benefits to employees and negative impacts. Among the benefits cited are:

Your kids can stay on your policy until age 26.

  • Insurers won’t be able to refuse to sell to you if you are ill and can’t cancel you if you become ill.
  • Insurers must cover preventive services.
  • Some employers get a temporary tax credit.

Among the new burdens cited are:

  • Americans must have insurance or face a tax.
  • Employees insured through a small business or on their own will pay a Health Insurance Tax of around $500 in increased premiums annually.
  • Drug companies and medical device companies will pay higher taxes on their products, which will be reflected in higher premiums.
  • Pretax dollars placed in Health Savings Accounts or Flexible Savings Accounts cannot be used to buy over-the-counter medications. And, a $2,500 cap is placed on pretax health care expenditures.

If you’re interested in a short and understandable overview of the impacts of the new healthcare law, the NFIB publication is worth looking at.