President’s revised health reform bill just released
The House Committee on Rules has just released the 153 page amendment to the Health Reform Bill. The release of these revisions clears the way for a Sunday vote in the House and the potential of passage of Federal Health Care Reform through the controversial reconciliation process. Preliminary CBO scoring is projected at $940 Billion over ten years.
Upon a quick read of the amendments, I wanted to provide a brief summary of a few of the changes to the Senate bill as was passed on Christmas Eve.
It appears that there is a delay in the implementation of the some of the provisions that have been concerning employers. Other important changes are listed below.
Flex – The cap on flex reimbursement accounts that had been set for January 1 2011 has now been delayed to January 1 2013.
Cadillac Tax – Implementation is delayed until 2018 and they have increased the threshold to $10,200 per individual and $27,500 per family (from $8,500 and $23,000) and “excluding stand-alone dental and vision plans from the tax; and permitting an employer to reduce the cost of the coverage when applying the tax if the employer’s age and gender demographics are not representative of the age and gender demographics of a national risk pool”.
Employer Mandate – The employer penalty will be increased from $750 to $2,000 for not providing coverage for an employee. If an employer has employees purchase subsidized coverage through an exchange the penalty is $3,000.
Product mandates – Effective immediately, plans must have dependent coverage to age 26, no lifetime maximums, no longer than 90 day waiting periods. Pre-ex exclusions must be eliminated in 2014.
Medicare tax – of 3.8% for individuals making over $200,000 ind and $250,000 family now also includes investment income in the calculation and tax.
Individual Mandate – the penalty now drops to $325 from $495 for low wage earners and higher wage earners will now pay more; increasing the penalty from 1% to 2% of AGI.
More to come I am certain.