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Health Care Reform Timeline 2013 Posted: September 23rd, 2010

By Megg Mueller

Changes from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act are fairly minimal in 2013; most major changes go into effect in 2014. However, there are some provisions that take place in 2013 that affect your health insurance options and health care choices.

Changes to Medicaid, Medicare and other government-sponsored programs

For a few federally and state-funded programs the following provisions go into effect in 2013:

  • Increased Medicaid funding. As of January 1, 2010, Medicaid programs begin receiving new funding to cover preventive services at little or no cost, meaning more access to care for more patients.
  • Continued CHIP support. For uninsured children, not eligible for Medicaid but receiving care through the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), additional funding will be provided to states until 2015.
  • Closing the Medicare donut hole. Federal subsidies for brand-name prescriptions, for those who have Medicare Part D coverage, will begin in 2013. By 2020, the subsidies increase to 25 percent along with a 50 percent manufacturer discount on brand-name medicines.

Insurance Reforms

There aren't many health insurance changes underway in 2013, but the launch of one not-for-profit health insurance company may provide another medical insurance options for consumers:

  • Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans (CO-OPs) are to be created by June of 2013. The CO-OPs are to be non-profit, member-run health insurance companies that each state uses to offer qualified health plans.

Tax changes

Several tax changes are underway in 2013, including:

  • Income and payroll taxes. Families who make $250,000 or more ($200,000 or more for singles) begin paying more in Medicare payroll taxes, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Unearned income for this group is also taxed beginning in 2013.
  • Deductions. The threshold for deducting out-of-pocket medical expenses on your taxes rises from 7.5 percent of income to 10 percent. However, those over age 65 remain at the 7.5 percent deduction threshold through 2016.
  • Flexible spending accounts. Contributions to flexible spending accounts are limited to $2,500. That limit will be adjusted annually for cost-of-living increases. Additionally, these plans no longer allow reimbursement for over-the-counter medication.
  • New excise tax. Taxable medical devices will now have a 2.3 percent excise tax applied.

There are some important changes that go into place in 2013. Be sure to review other changes scheduled to take place, so you know how health reform may affect you.