There’s plenty of hoopla about what your company is in for in 2014, following the passage of healthcare reform. But there’s a lot that will change even sooner.
That’s probably where you want to focus now.
Here’s what’s critical today, courtesy of The Patient Protection Act and The Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010:
Change #1: Dependent coverage
Get ready to open the corporate wallet even wider! Starting six months after the law is enacted, dependent children up to age 26 will be eligible for coverage under their parents’ health plans. (They also have to be claimed as dependents on their parents’ tax return to be eligible.) Compare that with many current state rules that currently cap coverage at age 18 or 19.
Plus, children with pre-existing conditions will no longer be denied coverage (very good news).
Change #2: Adoption tax credit
Any employees with plans to adopt a child soon? The healthcare reform bill makes the adoption credit refundable and extends it through 2011.
Not only that, but there’s a higher limit for the credit: $13,170.
Change #3: Tax credit for premiums
If your company employs fewer than 25 people and their average annual salary is less than $40,000, next year will bring you some relief. Between 2011 and 2013, firms that fit the bill can claim a tax credit of up to 35% of their contributions toward employees’ health insurance premiums.
The smallest of the small (less than 10 employees and average annual wages less than $20,000) would receive the full credit.
Change #4: New limits on flex spending
For several years companies have been doing all they can to get employees to take advantage of flexible spending accounts (FSAs).
Here’s a new twist: Starting in 2013, your company will have to cap flex spending contributions at $2,500. Plus, you’ll only be able to reimburse them for over-the-counter medications a doctor “prescribes” via FSA.