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2013 Health Care Reform Changes

First, a very happy new year to all of you! Now that we find ourselves on day 2 of 2013, I’m sureyou’ve already briefed yourself on the latest and greatest in Health Care Reform right? No? Read on.

Beginning January 1, 2013, contributions to Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) for medical related expenses are now limited to $2,500 per year. This includes an annual increase in the amount of the cost of living adjustment. There use to not be a standard limit, though most employers placed a cap at $5,000. The “use it or lose it” rule remains in place.  For the nitty gritty, check out the IRS details here: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-12-40.pdf

Medical Expense Itemized Tax Deductions effective 1/1/13: Thresholds for claiming itemized tax deductions for medical expenses rise from 7.5% to 10.0% of adjusted gross income. This increase will be waived for those 65 or older for tax years 2013 through 2016.

Medicare Tax Rate Increase effective 1/1/13:  Medicare Part A tax on wages increase by 0.9% (to 2.35%) on earnings over $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for married couples filing jointly. Also imposed is  a 3.8% tax on unearned income for higher-income taxpayers.

Beginning March 1, 2013, Health and Human Services (HHS) adopted additional guidelines for Women’s Preventive Services in August 2011 – including well-woman visits, support for breastfeeding equipment, contraception, and domestic violence screenings – to be covered without cost sharing in all new plans starting August 2012.  For more details on regulations : http://www.healthcare.gov/law/resources/regulations/womensprevention.html

 


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