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Winners and Losers in the Health Care Reform Bill

Details of the full bill's impact (officially called the ''Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010") are still rolling in. The provisions are actually contained in two separate bills totaling 2,559 pages, if we were counting.

But for now, here are some of the winners under the bill:

  1. Children. Beginning in 2010 those children who have been excluded from coverage because of pre-existing conditions will gain access.
  2. Older children. As of enactment date, uninsured millennials can stay on their parent's family health plan until the end of the calendar year when they turn 26. (Unfortunately, no mention was made of a deduction for food and housing costs for said millennials still living in their parents' house.)
  3. Small businesses. For tax years beginning in 2010, certain small businesses that provide health insurance for their employees can get credits for up to 35% of premiums they pay.
  4. Uninsurable adults. Within 90 days of enactment, uninsured adults with pre-existing conditions will have access to a temporary subsidized high-risk pool for coverage.
  5. Medicare recipients. Beginning in 2010, certain Medicare recipients will qualify for a one time $250 rebate for prescription drugs.
  6. Parents who adopt. The adoption credit for years beginning after 2009 increases to $13,170 before phase outs.

Here are some potential losers:

  1. Medical device manufacturers. Starting in 2014, certain manufacturers will pay a 2.3% excise tax on medical devices.
  2. Tan people. The indoor tanning industry would be hit with a 10% excise tax on indoor tanning services, effective for services provided on or after July 1, 2010.
  3. Holders of Flexible Spending Accounts. Contributions to health flexible spending accounts (FSAs) would be limited to $2,500 per year, effective for tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2012.
  4. Insurance abstainers. Beginning in 2014, certain individuals who opt not to carry "minimum essential coverage" will have to pay a per adult penalty of up to $695 by 2016.
  5. Officers and directors of health insurers. Beginning in January of 2013, deductible compensation for employees in certain insurance organizations will be capped at $500,000.

Please contact us for full details or information regarding your specific situation.

Note: This article was reprinted in its entirety in the St. Helena Star  on Thursday April 1.