“Wash your hands”…our mothers told us, our teachers told us, nowadays insurance companies and a whole slew of others have decided it was good advice! O.K. so we are trying to do that, but while that was going on we looked over our shoulder and heard much talk about health care coverage.
From what I can gather, but I am no expert, we have a lot of changes coming that will challenge us in keeping our hands clean. Minds turn to issues and forget the immediate. This is why, especially if you are hovering around the age of 50, that you eat too much and forget to wash your hands, too!
However, it looks as though most companies will not stop providing health insurance, but plan to worry about it nearer to 2018 when a 40% excise tax on “high value” health plans is slated to begin. Whew, so we have a little time to work on this? Not necessarily. “High value” is explained in a recent article as high-risk professions or for employers with many older employees. Companies do not want to upset the apple cart by refusing to provide health care because the benefit allows the employer to draw workers. Starting this year, wellness bonuses or awards, and even penalties, are a hopeful for many employers in order to help keep the costs low.
Not covered at work? The deadline is pretty close; Feb. 15, 2015. Those who do not purchase may receive fines of $325 per adult or 2% of family income, whichever is higher. Some could qualify for a hardship exemption. Do not wait until Feb. 14 to look into these matters. See your accountant or your tax preparer soon!
I think I will go wash my hands.