Recently, Congress extended the effective start date for large employers to comply with providing insurance to basically all their employees from January 1, 2014 to January 1,2015. A large employer is defined as one that employs Fifty or more full time employees. Full time is represented by a minimum of a 35 hour work week . Presently this extension applies only to large employers and not extend the date for individual taxpayers to comply with the mandate to have health coverage by January 1 , 2013.
What This Means to Individuals
Basically, the health care act better known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act provides that all health plans must provide for minimum essential coverage and be affordable. A health plan is affordable if the portion of the premium that the individual pays for self coverage does not exceed 9.5 % of the taxpayer’s household income. The household income is defined as including all income earned by the taxpayer and all dependents.
In order for a health plan to meet the minimum essential coverage requirement of the Act the plan must provide a certain minimum level of health coverage benefits. In plain-English, this means that individuals will have better coverage at a lower price tag.
The effect of this Act to the individual, in my opinion, will, over time, cause the health insurance companies to develop more affordable plans with better coverage to the plan holder.