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Ohio Must Make Decisions about Medicaid Expansion

Eric Adams, Sep 27th, 2012

Many people believe that the Supreme Court upheld the healthcare reform law in its entirety, but that isn’t correct. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) initially required states to expand their Medicaid coverage to all citizens who live below 138% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), currently $15,415 a year for a single adult.  To ensure the expansion, the law cut federal Medicaid funding to states that did not expand Medicaid. The Supreme Court ruled that such cuts were coercive and an overuse of the federal government’s power.  By doing so, the Supreme Court modified the law, allowing states to choose whether to expand Medicaid without endangering their current Medicaid programs. Ohio now must decide whether to expand Medicaid.

To be eligible for Medicaid in Ohio today, you must be pregnant or a child younger than 18 living below 200% FPL ($38,180 for a family of three), a parent earning less than 90% FPL, or an elderly, blind or disabled person earning less than 64% FPL.  An e...

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The Affordable Care Act may increase taxes for some people, but whose?

Kate Keller, Sep 10th, 2012

To help pay for additional benefits in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the law will raise taxes for some individuals and families beginning Jan. 1, 2013.  

If you earn more than $200,000 per year as an individual or your family earns more than $250,000 per year, your taxes will increase in two ways.

First, your Medicare taxes will increase by 0.9% (from 1.45% to 2.35%) on amounts over those thresholds.  So an individual’s first $200,000 of income will be taxed at 1.45% and income beyond that will be taxed at 2.35%.  For families, the first $250,000 of income will be taxed at 1.45% and income beyond that will be taxed at 2.35%.

In addition, unearned income taxes for this same group of people will increase by 3.8% to 18.8%. However, if Congress does not extend the Bush-era tax cuts, then the unearned income tax for high-income earners will be 23.8%. 

The one exemption from the unearned income taxes is for home sales.  The profit from a home sale must be greater than $500,000 for a ...

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Women and the ACA

Kate Keller, Apr 3rd, 2012

Women have special healthcare needs and also make the majority of healthcare decisions in most American households. Since this is the case, women should be aware of the changes the law makes that will affect their personal and family healthcare decisions.  There are several new rules that were created especially for women, some geared to reduce the number of uninsured women.

Some rules are already in place and include:

  • Insurers cannot cancel your insurance for any health reason, such as if you become pregnant or get sick. They can cancel your insurance only if you lie to them.
  •  New insurance plans must cover 100 percent of preventive care costs. This includes mammograms, pap smears, birth control, osteoporosis screening and immunizations.
  • Insurance plans cannot deny your family insurance if you have a child that has been or is sick.
  • Adult children can stay on their parents’ family insurance plan until they turn 26. Insurers have to cover only children, not spouses. But, they ...

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Supreme Court Hearings

Kate Keller, Apr 2nd, 2012

Now that the Supreme Court hearings are completed, we wait for the decisions.  What will they have to decide?

  1. The first decision will determine if it is too early to even discuss the individual requirement to have insurance, since that component of the law isn’t in place. 
  2. The second decision will determine if the requirement that everyone has insurance (the individual mandate) is constitutional. 
  3. If the individual mandate is found to be unconstitutional, the justices will decide whether the rest of the law can stand on its own or if the whole law will be struck down.
  4. The final decision will be whether the federal government’s expansion of the Medicaid program to all very low income residents is coercion of the states.

While the votes have been made by the Supreme Court Justices, the final decisions and written explanations are not expected until late June.  Stay tuned for the latest news!

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Two Year Anniversary

Eric Adams, Mar 21st, 2012

Friday, March 23rd marks the second anniversary of the passage of the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act.  Over the past two year, many patient protection items have been put into place, such as:

  • Children cannot be denied insurance, even if they have poor health
  • Young adults under 26 can stay on the parents' insurance plan
  • Most preventive services are free of a co-pay or cost sharing
  • Seniors have discounts on their precriptions while in the donut hole, and
  • Insurance plans cannot have lifetime caps on essential health services.

More changes are coming- stay tuned!

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