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ACA Tax Credit Means IRS Form 8962!

If you received a tax credit or subsidy under the Affordable Care Act on your individual health policy we want to remind you that you were required to file IRS Form 8962 with your 2014 Federal Income Taxes.  The Advanced Premium Tax Credit (APTC) or income-based cost sharing reduction (CSR) transfers a portion of the monthly premium for some individual health insurance policies from the policy owner to the Federal government as part of the Affordable Care Act which is known to some as Obamacare.

We strongly encourage you to reach out to your tax professional if you believe that you received APTC or CSR cost reductions to confirm that they properly filed your IRS Form 8962.

Note:

  • If your Form 8962 was properly filed with your 2014 income taxes then you don’t need to do anything.
  • If you have not filed your taxes with Form 8962 then take action immediately (i.e., electronically file your 2014 return and Form 8962).

If you have questions on this requirement you can call your tax professional or contact the IRS directly at www.irs.gov/aca or 1.800.829.0922.

FREE iTriage Health Application

Yennie & Jones Health Insurance Partner Aetna has developed the following free application to help you attain and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

iTriageDownload the FREE iTriage health app

In his recent State of the Union address, President Obama talked about the need for innovation. The FREE iTriage® mobile app is innovation in action. It helps you with two of the most common medical questions: “What could be wrong?” and “Where can I go for treatment?”

Use iTriage to:

  • Learn about thousands of drugs, diseases and procedures
  • Find nearby doctors
  • Make appointments
  • Store personal health records

iTriage has been downloaded more than eight million times, as of February 2013. * It is available for iPhone® and iPad® mobile digital devices and the AndroidTM mobile technology platform. iTriage is a wholly owned subsidiary of Aetna.

*Apple iTunes Store; Google Play, 2009-2012

Obama Administration Releases Health Care Updates

Obama Administration Releases Health Care Updates is courtesy of IIABA.  Details announced on employee notification rule, individual mandate, exchange applications and IRS ‘affordability’ rule.
The Obama Administration continued its recent pattern of releasing important details on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) through largely unpublicized regulatory actions with four new updates within the last week.

Employee Exchange Notification Late last week, the Administration indefinitely delayed a requirement in the PPACA that employers provide written notification to all employees about health insurance exchanges. Employers were slated to be required to send out the notices by March 1, 2013.

By law, employers must provide a written notice to all employees with information on the following:

  • The existence of exchanges and contact information for assistance.
  • The availability of premium subsidies through exchanges.
  • If the employee purchases health insurance through an exchange, they will lose any employer contribution and that all or a portion of any contribution may be excludable from income for tax purposes.

Federal regulators have not scheduled a new implementation date for the requirement, but they have indicated it is likely to slip to late summer or early fall. This will more closely coincide with initial exchange enrollment in October 2013.

Further details, including the new date for the required notifications, will be provided through future regulations issued jointly by the Department of Health and Human Services and the departments of Labor and Treasury. In addition, the Administration indicated that it may issue “model” language, which employers can use for their notifications.

Individual Mandate The Internal Revenue Service and HHS Wednesday also issued regulations on the individual mandate. The mandate, which requires nearly all taxpayers without health insurance to purchase it next year, was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in its 2012 decision.

The Administration explained rules for exemptions to the mandate in regulations regarding IRS penalties for those who choose to remain uninsured after the PPACA is fully implemented. Individuals eligible for exemptions include people with religious objections to traditional health care, people for whom health care is not affordable, undocumented immigrants and people who don’t make enough to pay federal taxes.

Individuals who choose not to purchase medical insurance in 2014—and don’t quality for an exemption from the mandate—will be subject to a $95 fine or 1% of income, whichever is higher. The penalty grows to $695 or 2.5% of income by 2016 and then rises annually by the cost-of-living adjustment.

Streamlined Applications This week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released proposed “streamlined” applications to be used by individuals and small businesses (SHOP) to sign up for health insurance through the new health insurance exchanges later this year.

The application for individuals will be used to purchase private insurance on the exchanges and to determine eligibility for government programs, such as exchange subsidies, Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

SHOP applications for both employers and employees are posted in separate packages.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has also posted videos on YouTube to show how consumers may fill out the applications.

Final Rule on Health Plan “Affordability” Yesterday the Internal Revenue Service issued final regulations which define employer-sponsored health plans as “affordable,” if the portion of the annual premium the employee pays for self-only coverage is no greater than 9.5% of the taxpayer’s household income.

The “affordability” definition is part of the litmus test as to whether or not monetary penalties apply to an employer under the PPACA’s employer mandate. Also, if coverage is not “affordable” an employee may be eligible for subsidies through health insurance exchanges beginning in 2014.

The IRS adopted this rule as final, despite receiving many comments that the “affordability” definition should take into account the cost of family coverage.

The Affordable Care Act Isn’t

Expect health insurance premiums to go up 40-80% in the next two years according to some local insurance company executives.  While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will allow every American to buy individual health insurance without proving insurability (this has long been in effect for most group policies sold to employers) there is a cost associated with the ‘take all applicants’  approach and that’s higher costs for all.

Additionally, we expect many small employers to eliminate their group health plans entirely in the coming years as they will now be taxed on each dollar they spend for health insurance premiums, many will no longer see it as a moral obligation once chronically ill employees can purchase guaranteed issue individual health insurance policies and once the Federal Government has set up its planned premium subsidy system for lower and middle income individuals.

Blue Cross Paying 100% for Flu Vaccines

This year, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC) will again pay 100 percent of the allowable charge for the seasonal flu vaccine and its administration for all members of our insured groups when received from an in-network provider.

Blue KC will not count these vaccines and administration costs toward the routine calendar year maximum when provided by an in-network provider. Coverage for the vaccine and administration provided by out-of-network providers are subject to the out-of-network benefit level and other terms, limits, and conditions of the contract.

This year’s seasonal flu shots will also include the H1N1 vaccine. For this and other reasons, Blue KC encourages everyone to get a seasonal flu shot – it’s a safe way to protect yourself and prevent the spread of illness.

Blue KC will also cover flu vaccines in the same manner for Cost Plus clients unless they opt out by September 17, 2010.

Blue KC is Extending the Dependent Limiting Age Policy

Health care reform legislation signed into law in late March would make coverage available to adult children up to age 26 for plan years beginning September 23, 2010. Recognizing that this timetable could result in many young people losing their coverage prior to this date because of their age, student status, or other factors, Blue KC is extending the dependent limiting age to the end of the calendar year in which the dependent turns age 26 effective June 1, 2010. This communication provides additional details on how Blue KC will implement this change by market segment.

• Members with Individual Coverage – Blue KC will extend the age limits to the end of the calendar year in which a dependent turns 26 for all individual under 65 contracts.

• Employers with 2-99 Employees – Blue KC will extend the age limits to the end of the calendar year in which a dependent turns 26 under all small group contracts.

• Employers with 100 or more Employees (Fully Insured and Cost Plus) – Blue KC will extend the age limits to the end of the calendar year in which a dependent turns 26 under these large group contracts. However, we will provide a window in which employers can OPT OUT of this extension.

• Large Group (ASO) – Blue KC will offer ASO clients the opportunity to extend age limits to the end of the calendar year in which a dependent turns 26 if they OPT IN.

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