Employers can still send employees to the exchanges but not with pre-tax dollars.

Did you ever play a game when you were a kid and someone made up the rules as you went along? It wasn’t fun for you either, now was it? That’s the game the Obama administration is playing in Washington DC. Only the rules of the game affect everyone and they’re playing for keeps. Who keeps their job?

C. Steven Tucker.WordPress.com

As a licensed health insurance broker, I have recommended many cost reduction options to employers over the last 20 years so that they may continue to attract and maintain quality employees. One of the most lucrative alternatives for both the employer and the employee was for the employer to consider offering a stipend to their employees for them to use to purchase their own individual health insurance on the open market. Contrary to popular belief when comparing apples to apples, individual health insurance premiums are almost always cheaper than employer sponsored group health insurance premiums. This is especially true when you subtract the amount the employer pays towards the premium.

Since employer sponsored group health insurance is not taxable to the employer, recommending that employers provide a stipend to their employees to purchase their own individual health insurance would create a taxable event for both them and their employees. However…

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Obamacare Tax on the So-called Affluent

obamataxI’m coming to you from a small business owner’s perspective.  Small business owners are looking for every manner to save money and still grow their businesses.  The last thing they need is to pay more taxes.

If you are a small business owner who has worked really hard to get to a point you are earning a decent salary, approaching retirement,  saving some money, investing it in financial instruments, that earn dividends and interest, it is disappointing to learn you are going to be paying more in income taxes.

Now you’re paying for Obamacare with taxes on income you have already earned on investments you have already made with hard earned dollars.

“Affluent investors who ignore this tax will be in for a total shock next April 15,” says David Lifson, a certified public accountant specializing in tax at Crowe Horwath in New York.  Not so affluent investors that pay individual income taxes on business income are going to feel the shock, too.

According to the Wall Street Journal such income is typically not subject to withholding, and people won’t be factoring it into their estimated taxes.  The tax, which took effect Jan. 1, applies to the “net investment income” of married joint filers who have more than $250,000 of income (or $200,000 for singles). Only investment income—such as dividends, interest and capital gains—above the thresholds is taxed. The rate is a flat 3.8% in addition to other taxes owed.

I know many of the so called  “affluent” are not inclined to be politically active, but read Laura Saunders: Are You Ready for the New Investment Tax?.  This should be a reason for you to pick up the phone and call your congressmen and senators to repeal this tax.  If this is pocket change for you, if so, maybe you should think about your kids?

I won’t argue the one benefit to Obamacare that makes sense, is forcing insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions, regardless of the cost (to them).

Insurance companies need to start policing the costs they can control in their own backyard, for example, Big Pharma and not pile those costs on the backs of their customers.

I say that, because insurance companies have been skating on this issue for far too long.  If the insurance companies won’t step up to the plate, this could still could get done without ACA, a.k.a. Obamacare.  We don’t need Obamacare to care for people with pre-existing conditions.

To pay for healthcare coverage for people with pre-existing condition, you reduce costs.  To reduce costs you increase competition.  To increase competition, you deregulate and allow competition between insurers across state lines.

You also increase the incentive for the consumer (patient) to shop for the very best healthcare at the very best price.arrow thru the head

I pay for my employee’s health and dental benefits up to the monthly H.S.A premium. If they select a more expensive plan they pay the difference.  I have physicians who have discounted procedures 25% because they know I’m paying for their services out of my own pocket (at least until I reach the out of pocket maximum).

The emphasis at our company is to be healthy.  We have our own gym.  We have a cycling team we formed to fight MS.

If an individual is making decisions on their own behalf with regard to their health and their health care costs, the cost of healthcare will truly become more affordable.

The answer to rising prices and declining benefits is to increase competition in the health insurance market.  Encourage, not put limits on Health Savings Accounts H.S.A.’s as the new Affordable Care Act does.  You don’t decrease costs through big government and more regulation.

Here’s what the Democrats are saying about Obamacare.  Montana Sen. Max Baucus, a Democrat, called it a “train wreck.” A Democratic colleague, West Virginia’s Sen. Jay Rockefeller, described the massive Affordable Care Act as “beyond comprehension.”  Henry Chao, the government’s chief technical officer in charge of putting in place the insurance exchanges mandated by the law, was quoted in the Congressional Quarterly as saying, “I’m pretty nervous . . . Let’s just make sure it’s not a third-world experience.”

Obamacare is an unmitigated disaster.   To add insult to injury, we are now on the hook to pay for what will go down in history as the next great entitlement program, the Affordable Care Act!

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