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Affordable Care Act Changes

Posted September 19, 2012 in Advice Column, Winterset

In deciding the topic to write about this month, health insurance came to mind.

Over the past few months through emails received and client conversations, many things are being said and questioned about the changes brought on by the passing of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed by Congress and signed into law by the President in 2010. Some of the more common questions have been:
“What will happen to the insurance I have right now?”
“If I sell my house, will I be taxed to pay for Obamacare?”
“Are my investments going to be taxed to pay for Obamacare?”

In searching for answers to my clients’ questions and to get better educated on the future health insurance landscape, I came across a fairly intuitive website sponsored by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF). It is http://healthreform.kff.org/. This website contains information on many aspects of the ACA, public sentiment towards the ACA, along with flowcharts and graphics explaining various facets of the Act. In addition, you can find a timeline of when various phases of the ACA begin and brief descriptions and facts about the various provisions.

To address the questions regarding taxation that are effective this January, I found the KFF information a bit vague. The following website did seem to give more specific details regarding the sale of homes and investments:  http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/UploadedPDF/1001585-TN-health-reform-investment-facts-myths.pdf

Quoting from this article: “…some observers have asserted that the 3.8 percent tax would apply to all home sales. In reality, the tax applies to capital gains, not sale proceeds. And the current exclusion of gains on home sales — up to $500,000 (joint) or $250,000 (single) on a primary residence — would still apply; thus, the vast majority of home sellers will face no new burden from this tax.”

If you do some investigating for yourself, you will find that this is just the tip of the iceberg on this topic. There is not enough space here to give a compete explanation of even single aspects of the ACA. The purpose for this article was to bring attention to some of the questions that have come up as of late, to shed some light, and finally, to provide some resources to help you as we continue through this historic and dramatic change to healthcare in the United States.

Information provided by Dave LaGrange, CFP, Bridges Financial Associates Inc., 56 Court St., Winterset, 462-9500.

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