Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Affordable Care Act in Action: Fewer Uninsured Young Adults in America

We all know that our broken health care system failed to serve the needs of many American citizens. That is why the passage of reform legislation was so vital to the health of many Americans. But few people understood how necessary that change was to young adults.

In 2010, the number of uninsured young Americans climbed to 21 million people, accounting for approximately one third of the total uninsured population.

This makes the following announcement made today by Kathleen Sebelius HHS Secretary so important…

“We know that young adults are the age group most likely to be uninsured and before health reform was enacted, many young Americans lost their health insurance when they left home or graduated from school. This meant that your sons or daughters – who might be college students or in their first job, are often forced to go without health insurance. A policy in the Affordable Care Act changed this, by allowing young adults to remain on their parents plan until age 26.

Today, a new report shows that the Affordable Care Act is working. According to the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey released today, there was a significant increase in the number of 18-24 year olds with health insurance in the U.S. over the past year.

The report showed that the percentage of young adults with insurance increased from 70.7% in 2009 to 72.8% in 2010. That translates into 500,000 more young people with insurance. We expect even more will gain coverage in 2011 when the policy is fully phased in.

Young people sometimes think they’re invincible, but it’s important for everyone to have insurance. One car accident, one slip in a shower, or one sudden illness can result in months or even years of health care bills that can bankrupt the average family if that son or daughter is uninsured.

This 2% increase in coverage for young people came as the number of Americans under 65 with insurance went down slightly. The Affordable Care Act will help provide coverage at a decent price for millions of uninsured Americans starting in 2014, when millions of Americans will have access to affordable insurance options.”

For more information, click here

Friday, August 19, 2011

Affordable Care Act could have saved my brother's life

Georganne Koehler talks about how the Affordable Care Act could have saved her brother's life on the Rick Smith Show.  He was denied healthcare due to a pre-existing condition.

The Affordable Care Act is working to lower costs for small businesses

The Affordable Care Act is working to lower costs for small businesses and gives them more choices. Small businesses are the engine of our economy, and the Affordable Care Act provides the tools necessary to help them succeed. It levels their playing field with larger companies and provides tax breaks to make it possible for them to offer employees’ health care.
Before, insurance companies charged small businesses in the individual market an average 18 percent more in premiums than larger businesses. The Affordable Care Act lowers health costs for small businesses by allowing them to band together in health exchanges that will be created in each state.
A prospective entrepreneur who has a preexisting medical condition or a family member with a preexisting condition cannot leave his or her job to launch a new company because they are “locked” in their old job and health coverage—and 1.6 million small business workers suffer from this. But under the Affordable Care Act people will have affordable access to coverage, and workers can choose the job they want.
Before the Affordable Care Act passed the Small Business Majority found health care costs were rising so much that it would cost 178,000 jobs by 2018. Right now, 4 million small businesses have access to tax credits to help with the cost of health premiums. Those savings can be used to invest in job creation. 82 percent of the American people support these small business tax credits, according to a new Kaiser Family Foundation poll.
You can claim some important information about taking advantage of the tax credits. Please visit the IRS website directly for more information and forms.
Below is a reprinting of some important information about claiming the small business tax credits.
Eligibility Rules
  • Providing health care coverage. A qualifying employer must cover at least 50 percent of the cost of health care coverage for some of its workers based on the single rate.
  • Firm size. A qualifying employer must have less than the equivalent of 25 full-time workers (for example, an employer with fewer than 50 half-time workers may be eligible).
  • Average annual wage. A qualifying employer must pay average annual wages below $50,000.
  • Both taxable (for profit) and tax-exempt firms qualify.
Amount of Credit
  • Maximum Amount. The credit is worth up to 35 percent of a small business’ premium costs in 2010 (25% for tax-exempt employers). On Jan. 1, 2014, this rate increases to 50 percent (35 percent for tax-exempt employers).
    Phase-out. The credit phases out gradually for firms with average wages between $25,000 and $50,000 and for firms with the equivalent of between 10 and 25 full-time workers.
Three Simple Steps for Employers to Qualify
To determine if your small business or tax exempt organization qualifies for the small business health care tax credit, follow the three simple steps on the IRS fact sheet.
Claiming the Credit
Small employers, whether businesses or tax-exempt organizations, will use new Form 8941, Credit for Small Employer Health Insurance Premiums, to calculate the small business health care tax credit.
Small businesses will include the amount of the credit as part of the general business credit on their income tax returns.
Tax-exempt organizations will include the amount of the credit on Line 44f of revised Form 990-T, Exempt Organization Business Income Tax Return. Form 990-T has been revised for the 2011 filing season to enable eligible tax-exempt organizations –– even those that owe no tax on unrelated business income –– to claim the small business health care tax credit.

Poll: Don’t repeal ACA, oppose Ryan budget

A new poll released by Know Your Care and the Herndon Alliance shows that voters do not want the Affordable Care Act repealed. Additionally, the poll’s findings include strong opposition to the budget plan proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan.
Read the memo from Anzalone Liszt Research on attitudes toward the Affordable Care Act and the Republican budget below. Download it here.