Health Care Reform Act Upheld

by Kenneth Hoffman in , ,

By now of course you've heard that the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the key provisions of the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare." In an unexpected twist, the Court ruled that the controversial individual mandate is constitutional, but under the government's power to tax , rather than to regulate commerce.

We don't need to go into the details of the ruling itself -- just turn on your television, and somewhere, somebody is opining on it right now! But we do want to remind you the Court's decision means several new taxes will go into effect as scheduled:

  • On January 1, 2013, the Medicare tax will go up by 0.9% for individuals earning over $200,000 ($250,000 for joint filers, $125,000 for married individuals filing separately).
  •  Also on January 1, there will be a new "Unearned Income Medicare Contribution" of 3.8% on investment income, for those earning more than $200,000 ($250,000 for joint filers).
  •  Beginning on January 1, 2014, there will be a new $2,500 limit on tax-free contributions to flexible spending accounts, and employers with more than 50 employees will face a penalty of $2,000 per employee for not offering health insurance to full-time employees.
  • Finally, the threshold for deducting medical and dental expenses rises from 7.5% of adjusted gross income to 10%. This will make these expenses even harder to deduct without help from advanced strategies like Health Savings Accounts or Medical Expense Reimbursement Plans.

So, while the constitutional issues may be settled, several planning challenges certainly remain. We'll be following developments carefully in order to help you navigate these new challenges. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to call us at 954-591-8290.

K.R. Hoffman & Co., LLC, counsels Entrepreneurs, Professionals and Select Individuals in taking control of their taxes, and businesses. Discover how we can help you overcome your tax and business challenges. For more information or to become a client, call me at (954) 591-8290 TODAY or drop me a note.