Let’s be honest. In the history of American health care, the year 2013 won’t exactly go down as a time that went as smoothly as one of President Barack Obama’s campaign speeches.
At mid-year, most observers could see some of the downsides: rising premiums and dropped policies. Deadlines had to be pushed back, and some parts of the law demanded rewrite.
The individual mandate
Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, Americans must buy health insurance from a private insurance provider or through a public program. While the glitch-marred exchange website debuted in October 2013, individuals must have insurance by Jan. 1 in order to comply with the new regulation. The penalty for failing to do so is either $95 or 1 percent of a person’s income — whichever is higher.
New tax No. 2
Another tax comes in the form of the “transitional reinsurance fee.” A fee of $63 for each life covered on a health insurance plan will be collected yearly from carriers. The fee will be first be collected in 2014, and it will continue being collected through 2016. The fee is supposed to offset the extra cost of covering people with pre-existing conditions.
Waiting periods defined
Also starting Jan. 1, the waiting period for people to sign up for health insurance will be set by PPACA. Waiting periods of more than 90 days will be prohibited for all health plans. Brokers and agents say this provision mainly affects businesses and industries that experience high turnover.