There is a lot of talk about the new Healthcare Reform Bill President Obama signed into law on Tuesday, March 30th. After the house passed the legislation, President Obama said the Bill, “proved that we are still capable of doing big things. We proved that this government — a government of the people and by the people — still works for the people.”
Here’s a highlight of the numbers involved in the bill:
95%: Estimated amount of legal citizens in the United States that would have coverage under the plan.
83%: Current estimated legal citizens that have coverage today.
219: House votes in Favor of the Bill.
212: House votes Opposed to the Bill (note: this is all Republicans in the House).
$750: Estimated annual fine for people who don’t purchase insurance, starting in 2014. Exceptions apply to low income individuals.
$940: Estimated cost of the plan, in billions, over the next 10 years.
$22,050: Current Federal Poverty Level for family of four. The bill will allow individuals and families who make between 100% and 400% of the FPL to be eligible for subsidies.
10%: Tax on tanning bed usage.
2014: Year in which insurance companies will not be allowed to deny coverage due to pre-existing conditions.
26: Age a child can remain on parent’s insurance, if unable to attain insurance elsewhere.
To pay for the cost of the plan, CBS News reports that starting in 2012, the Medicare Payroll tax will expand to include unearned income. For families making more than $250,000 per year, that’s a 3.8% tax on investment income. For individuals, the income limit is $200,000. In addition, insurance companies will pay an excise tax of 40% on high end insurance plans.
For more information on the Bill and how it applies to your current situation, visit The White House Website, http://www.whitehouse.gov/health-care-meeting/reform-means-you which provides answers to common questions such as “Can I keep my doctor?” and “I’m a business owner…what does this mean for me?”
In addition to the health care reform, the same bill also addresses student loans by eliminating the middle men, making all loans now going through the US Department of Education. Also, loan repayments will be capped after graduation to 10% of the graduate’s income. Most of the changes will not take place in time for current students to enjoy.
This is a weekly featured post on Own The Dollar from Sara Peak, a Certified Financial Planner and a veteran of the finance industry. In addition to her monthly “Money Matters” column in Kentucky Living magazine, she also writes about money and personal finance topics on her blog.
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