Affordable Care Act
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the “Act,” as amended) overhauls the health care environment in the U.S. The goal: to provide a minimum level of health care coverage for eligible individuals. For example, the new law requires most U.S. citizens and legal residents to have health insurance. Income eligible individuals and families will receive premium tax credits to help pay for coverage. Those choosing not to carry coverage will pay penalties.
The Act places new responsibilities on employers that, over time, may well change the nature of employer-provided health care. Employers choosing not to offer their employees qualifying coverage will pay an additional tax to help finance their employees’ health care. An exception applies for smaller businesses.
The new law’s provisions will generally go into effect on dates ranging from within a short time after the date of enactment through 2018.