Itemizing The Obamacare Fees
Obamacare's rollout may be in limbo even though the official deadline has come and gone (despite a much touted 2 million visitors to healthcare.gov on Monday which probably means it should IPO immediately), but the real sticker shock of actual fees awaits. And even as most insurers are opting to keep the full impact of the higher cost hidden, instead adding them to the overhead premiums charged, one company, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama, has itemized the impact of the Unaffordable Care Act by adding a separate line itme for the "Affordable Care Act Fees and Taxes." Here is how these add up according to a breakdown conducted by the Post.
The new taxes on one customer’s bill added up to $23.14 a month, or $277.68 annually, according to Kaiser Health News. It boosted the monthly premium from $322.26 to $345.40 for that individual.
The new taxes and fees include a 2 percent levy on every health plan, which is expected to net about $8 billion for the government in 2014 and increase to $14.3 billion in 2018.
There’s also a $2 fee per policy that goes into a new medical-research trust fund called the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute.
Americans also will pay hidden taxes, such as the 2.3 percent medical-device tax that will inflate the cost of items such as pacemakers, stents and prosthetic limbs.
Those with high out-of-pocket medical expenses also will get smaller income-tax deductions.
Americans are currently allowed to deduct expenses that exceed 7.5 percent of their annual income. The threshold jumps to 10 percent under ObamaCare, costing taxpayers about $15 billion over 10 years.
Then there is the new Medicare tax:
Under ObamaCare, individual tax filers earning more than $200,000 and families earning more than $250,000 will pay an added 0.9 percent Medicare surtax on top of the existing 1.45 percent Medicare payroll tax. They’ll also pay an extra 3.8 percent Medicare tax on unearned income, such as investment dividends, rental income and capital gains.
So will a big story for 2014 be Americans taking out student loans, already over $1 trillion and more than all US credit card debt, to pay for their health insurance? We hope to find out soon as the biggest capital misallocation in US history continues.
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