Friday, January 30, 2015

ACA/Obamacare and April 15th: Time To Pony-Up The Penalty/Return The Subsidy


“Some 3 million to 6 million Americans will have to pay an Obamacare tax penalty for not having health insurance last year, Treasury officials said Wednesday. It's the first time they have given estimates for how many people will be subject to a fine.

The penalty is $95, or 1% of income above a certain threshold (roughly $20,000 for a couple). So you could end up owing the IRS a lot of money.

Take a married couple with $100,000 in income - their bill comes to $797, according to the Tax Policy Center ACA penalty calculator.

The penalty for remaining uninsured rises to the larger of $325 or 2% of income in 2015.”

“Finally, between 4.5 million and 7.5 million taxpayers received subsidies for insurance premiums when they signed up for coverage on Obamacare exchanges. They will have to use Form 8962 to reconcile their actual 2014 income with the amount they estimated when they applied for a policy in late 2013 or early 2014.

Those who underestimated their income either will receive smaller tax refunds or will owe the IRS money.

Treasury officials declined to forecast how many people may be in this situation. But H&R Block projects 3.4 million taxpayers will have to pay back part of their premiums.” - Millions to owe Obamacare tax penalty, CNN Money, 01/28/2015

 

Link to the entire article appears below:

http://money.cnn.com/2015/01/28/news/economy/obamacare-tax-penalty/


 


 


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Healthcare.gov, Third-party Embedded Websites and Information Security





‘A little-known side to the government's health insurance website is prompting renewed concerns about privacy, just as the White House is calling for stronger cybersecurity protections for consumers.

It works like this: When you apply for coverage on HealthCare.gov, dozens of data companies may be able to tell that you are on the site. Some can even glean details such as your age, income, ZIP code, whether you smoke or if you are pregnant.

The data firms have embedded connections on the government site. Ever-evolving technology allows for individual Internet users to be tracked, building profiles that are a vital tool for advertisers.

Connections to multiple third-party tech firms were documented by technology experts who analyzed HealthCare.gov, and confirmed by The Associated Press. There is no evidence that personal information from HealthCare.gov has been misused, but the number of outside connections is raising questions.

"As I look at vendors on a website...they could be another potential point of failure," said corporate cybersecurity consultant Theresa Payton. "Vendor management can often be the weakest link in your privacy and security chain."’ - New privacy concerns over government's health care website, myway.com, 01/20/2015

Link to the entire article appears below:

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20150120/us--health_overhaul-privacy-8b7c5d925b.html

Saturday, January 24, 2015

ACA's Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan: Kiss $145 Million of Taxpayer Funds Goodbye

"A startup insurance company loaned $145 million by the U.S. government under Obamacare is running out of money and being taken over by state officials in Iowa.

The company, CoOportunity Health, which also serves Nebraska, was placed under Iowa Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart’s supervision this week and is no longer accepting new enrollees, according to a statement from his office. While Gerhart’s agency will operate the company for the time being, it’s urging policyholders to seek a new insurer.

CoOportunity Health is a co-op, or Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan, one of 23 nonprofit health insurers providing coverage in 26 states. They were created under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to increase competition. The fate of CoOportunity provides new fodder for Obamacare opponents who argue that the law wastes government money." - Insurer That Got $145 Million Loan Under Obamacare Is Almost Broke, conservativeread.com, 12/27/2014

Link to the entire article appears below:

http://conservativeread.com/insurer-that-got-145-million-loan-under-obamacare-is-almost-broke/

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

ACA Architect Ezekiel Emanuel and Preventative Care

'One reason your insurance premiums have skyrocketed during the past year is that Obamacare requires all health plans to provide “free” annual wellness visits and 15 associated preventive services for which they cannot charge the patient a copayment. According to a key architect of PPACA, however, “the annual physical exam is basically worthless.” Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, last heard from claiming that he wants to die at 75 in order to avoid becoming a burden on society, writes in the New York Times that “screening healthy people who have no complaints is a pretty ineffective way to improve people’s health.”

The good doctor says he’ll forego his annual exam pursuant to a desire to “make the world a better place.” But, as with his professed willingness to depart this vale of tears after three-quarters of a century, he makes it clear that all men and women of good will should follow his example “to ensure there is no doctor shortage as more Americans get health insurance.” This is where the rubber glove hits the road. Emanuel wants you to voluntarily give up a much-ballyhooed feature of Obamacare for which the “reform” law itself compels you to pay via new taxes and inflated health insurance premiums.

This is entirely consistent with Dr. Emanuel’s unique code of ethics. He is, for example, a long-time proponent of medical rationing for the elderly. Consequently, he probably doesn’t experience much cognitive dissonance when suggesting that, in order to forestall the physician shortage caused by a program he helped design, right-minded people should forego a “benefit” they were coerced to purchase. For him, this call for you to restrict your consumption of medical care is just another expression of his passion for rationing. The only thing new here is the exhortation for you to impose it on yourself

All of which raises a question: If annual physicals are worthless, why did Dr. Emanuel and his accomplices build them into PPACA?' - Ezekiel Emanuel: Go Ration Yourself,


The American Spectator, 01/12/2015

Link to the entire article appears below:

http://spectator.org/articles/61447/ezekiel-emanuel-go-ration-yourself

Friday, January 9, 2015

When ACA Supporters Become Unsupportive: NIMBY


“For years, Harvard’s experts on health economics and policy have advised presidents and Congress on how to provide health benefits to the nation at a reasonable cost. But those remedies will now be applied to the Harvard faculty, and the professors are in an uproar.

Members of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the heart of the 378-year-old university, voted overwhelmingly in November to oppose changes that would require them and thousands of other Harvard employees to pay more for health care. The university says the increases are in part a result of the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act, which many Harvard professors championed.

The faculty vote came too late to stop the cost increases from taking effect this month, and the anger on campus remains focused on questions that are agitating many workplaces: How should the burden of health costs be shared by employers and employees? If employees have to bear more of the cost, will they skimp on medically necessary care, curtail the use of less valuable services, or both?

“Harvard is a microcosm of what’s happening in health care in the country,” said David M. Cutler, a health economist at the university who was an adviser to President Obama’s 2008 campaign. But only up to a point: Professors at Harvard have until now generally avoided the higher expenses that other employers have been passing on to employees. That makes the outrage among the faculty remarkable, Mr. Cutler said, because “Harvard was and remains a very generous employer.”

In Harvard’s health care enrollment guide for 2015, the university said it “must respond to the national trend of rising health care costs, including some driven by health care reform,” in the form of the Affordable Care Act. The guide said that Harvard faced “added costs” because of provisions in the health care law that extend coverage for children up to age 26, offer free preventive services like mammograms and colonoscopies and, starting in 2018, add a tax on high-cost insurance, known as the Cadillac tax. “ - Harvard Ideas on Health Care Hit Home, Hard, NYT, 01/05/2015

Link to the entire article appears below:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/06/us/health-care-fixes-backed-by-harvards-experts-now-roil-its-faculty.html?_r=1