Tag Archive for Obamacare

Obamacare – Can Pieces Be Removed?

Annette Nellen6

Presidential candidate Clinton has called for repeal one of the numerous parts of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare).  Reuters reports that on September 29, 2015, she called for repeal of the “Cadillac tax” provision that goes into effect starting in 2018 (“Clinton calls for repeal of ‘Cadillac tax’ on healthcare plans,” by John Whitesides, Reuters, 9/29/15).

A few observations on this:

• What happens when one piece of the complete healthcare reform plan is removed? The Cadillac tax raises revenue by imposing an excise tax on certain expensive plans offered to employees (see IRC Section 4980I).  Likely it also is an incentive not to offer these Read more

Beware of Draconian Penalties For Health Reimbursement Plans

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Beginning in 2015, large employers (those with 100 or more full-time equivalent employees) must begin offering health insurance coverage to their employees. Then, in 2016, employers with 50 or more equivalent full-time employees must do the same or face penalties, called the “large employer health coverage excise tax.”

Employers with fewer than 50 full-time equivalent employees are never required to offer their employees an insurance plan, but qualified small employers who do provide coverage may qualify for the small business health insurance credit.

In the past, many smaller employers have simply reimbursed their employees for the cost of insurance. They found it less expensive and had fewer administrative costs than having Read more

Supreme Court, In A 6-3 Decision, Upholds Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) Subsidies

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Breaking: Supreme Court, in a 6-3 decision, upholds Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) subsidies. The ruling allows federal tax credits to be issued to people who buy health plans through a federally run ACA exchange.




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Tax Penalty For No Insurance Ratchets Up In 2015

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Article Highlights:

• Flat dollar amount penalty
• Percentage of income penalty
• Household income
• Modified adjusted gross income
• Tax filing threshold

The penalty for not having minimum essential health insurance for yourself and other members of your tax family takes a substantial jump in 2015. For 2014, the penalty was the greater of the flat dollar amount ($95 for each adult plus $47.50 for each child under Read more

Your Taxes And The Affordable Care Act

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Starting with this year’s filing season, taxpayers must report certain information related to health care coverage on their 2014 tax return when they file this April. In addition, taxpayers must provide proof of health insurance coverage or that they have received an exemption.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at how the Affordable Care Act might affect your tax situation, and based on your type of coverage, which new tax forms you might be receiving.

Tip: For additional information about IRS tax forms related to health care insurance, please see the article, Health Care Law: Changes to IRS Tax Forms, below.


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Obamacare Confusion – Real And Made Up


Our health care system is too complex. I am not only referring to the numerous tax provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare), but the system itself.  For example, if you have health insurance, do you know what it covers, how costs are computed, how insurance companies and the medical profession make money?

On March 4, the US Supreme Court heard oral argument in King v Burwell on whether individuals who obtained health insurance through the federal exchange (because their state did not establish its own exchange), are entitled to a Premium Tax Credit (PTC).  The PTC provision in the Code (Section 36B) makes reference to state exchange. The Administration interprets that as also meaning a federal exchange. Millions of individuals have obtained (in 2014) and are currently obtaining for 2015, a PTC to help pay for Read more

How To Qualify For Exempt Under The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)

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Under the Affordable Care Act, individuals must fall into one of the following 3 categories: (1) Those who have qualifying health insurance (minimum essential coverage), (2) those who qualify for an exemption from the responsibility to have minimum essential coverage, or (3) those who are required to make the shared responsibility payment (penalty) when they file their federal income tax return.
Those who fall in category 2 are exempt from the requirement to maintain minimum essential coverage and thus will not have to make a shared responsibility payment (penalty) when they file their federal income tax return.

Generally, you may be exempt if you: (a) have no affordable coverage options because the minimum amount you must pay for the annual premiums is more than eight percent of Read more

ACA – Affordability of Health Insurance And Age

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In filing our 2014 tax returns, we will all have to answer a new question (line 61 on the 2014 Form 1040) – did you and everyone in your family (spouses and dependents on the return) have health coverage for every month of 2014.  If anyone was lacking coverage for any month, they must next determine if they meet an exemption. If they do not, they owe the Individual Shared Responsibility Payment (penalty). One of the exemptions that many people might qualify for is that the health insurance available to them was unaffordable. If the employer offered coverage, you look at the cost of that coverage (cost less what employer contributes to that cost). If the employer did not offer coverage, you look at what the cost of coverage would have been in the Marketplace (Exchange). If you would have been eligible for a Premium Tax Credit (Section 36B), you must reduce that cost of Marketplace coverage Read more

Don’t Let The Recent Funding Cuts To IRS Give You A False Sense Of Complacency

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With just weeks remaining before the new tax season opens, Congress walloped the IRS with $341 million in budget cuts. That’s in addition to earlier slashes to the IRS budget of more than $1 billion since 2010, resulting in nearly 13,000 employee layoffs.

Is that a wise choice or an act of spite toward an unpopular agency?

Congress touted that the cuts are much needed but to others it looks like something else – revenge. You see many in Congress are still fuming about this year’s earlier tax-exempt organization scandal and those missing Lerner emails. There are other members of Congress that are angry about reports of wasteful spending. And still there are other members of Congress that see this as a great opportunity to keep IRS from properly implementing pieces of the Affordable Care Act – yes, the same Act that Congress pushed Read more

An Odd Result For Premium Tax Credit Or Is It?

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A few people have already pointed out this oddity in the Affordable Care Act including National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson in her 2013 Annual Report to Congress. Her excerpt notes that in determining if a person had affordable health coverage available to them from an employer, the measure is whether the self-only lowest cost coverage available to the employee costs 8% or less. It doesn’t matter if the family coverage offered by the employer is affordable. The relevance is that the family members won’t qualify for a Premium Tax Credit.

That seems odd if no “affordable” coverage was offered to the rest of the family. Isn’t that the point of the Affordable Care Act? To help make coverage affordable to everyone? Read more

Questions To Ask NOW Regarding The Affordable Care Act

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As an astute navigator of the Internal Revenue Code over the last decade or so I’ve been asked by media heads for my opinions on the Affordable Care Act. Even though I have many to offer the fact of the matter is the deeper I get into the compliance reporting abyss the less sense it seems to make. The following four quotes I can hang my hat:

“For sure the ONLY thing we can rely on, barely, seems to be TITLE 26 and the best place to start your journey in these regards is with the Department of Health & Human Services.”

“The IRS is implementing the tax provisions of Affordable Care Act – and the 2014 filing season is shaping up to be a N-I-G-H-T-M-A-R-E! So be nice to our friends who work in bureaucracy, we are all in this together.” Read more

Premium Tax Credit Saga – New Developments And Dilemmas

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On Friday (11/7/14), the US Supreme Court granted cert in King v. Burwell, 759 F.3d 358, No. 14-1158 (4th Cir., 7/22/14). This is the case where the court found the IRS regulations allowing individuals to claim a premium tax credit (PTC), even if they obtain coverage on a federal exchange rather than a state exchange. In contrast, in Halbig v. Burwell, 758 F.3d 390, No. 14-5018 (DC Cir., 7/22/14), a divided court found the IRS regulation invalid. The King and Halbig decisions were issued on the same day in July.

In September 2014, the Eastern District Court of Oklahoma issued a decision, State of Oklahoma v. Burwell, No. CIV-11-30-RAW (ED Ok, 9/30/14), finding the regulations invalid.

The DC Court of Appeals vacated its July decision, agreeing to hear the case en banc. Read more