Tag Archives: Health insurance

Eight Ways Obamacare Helps You and the 2015 Update to #ACA


Eight Ways Obamacare Helps You infographic

2015 Update to #ACA

1)16.4 Million now have #ACA

2) The uninsured has declined over the last 4-5 years by 35%

3) 14.1 Million that have #ACA are Adults

4) 2.3 Million are the young from ages 19-25 who are on their parents insurance

5) 8.8 Million signed up through the Insurance Market Place

6) 6 Million have #ACA have insurance Medicare / Medicaid

 The only negative is knowing more would have healthcare coverage if Republican Governor’s weren’t so heartless and put “WeThePeople” ahead their selective ideologies toward our POTUS  

The benefits of the Affordable Care Act are pretty straightforward: the law makes it easier to get insurance you can afford, ensures you have the care you need when you get sick, and covers the preventive services you need to stay healthy for free.

Blue Cross rejecting payments for HIV/AIDS medication


Mike Reitz: Stop AIDS discrimination by Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Louisiana.

    By Robert Darrow

            Shreveport, Louisiana

Due to a new policy from Louisiana’s largest health insurer, hundreds of people living with HIV and AIDS are in danger of losing access to essential medication.BlueCross BlueShield of Louisiana (BCBSLA) is rejecting checks from a federal program designed to help these patients pay for AIDS drugs and insurance premiums and has begun notifying customers that their enrollment in its Obamacare plans will be discontinued because it will no longer accept “third-party payments.” This funding was established through the Ryan White CARE Act of 1990 which has been crucial to ensuring that those living with HIV and AIDS can gain access to the medication they need.Several months ago, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) encouraged health plans to stop accepting “third-party payments,” but this weekend (February 8th), CMS stated unequivocally that “federal rules do not prevent the use of Ryan White funds to pay for health care plans.” BCBSLA said it is “reviewing and considering this new information,” but we need commitments to help save and extend hundreds of lives in Louisiana.

As someone living with AIDS who helped found the local organization in Shreveport that oversees Ryan White funding, I know these funds change lives — and I’m afraid that if BCBSLA gets away with denying this coverage, other insurers across the country could follow suit. Please join me in tell BCBSLA to accept federal funding for people living with HIV and AIDS and to stop this discrimination.

Interview with Author Jonathan Bloom


‘American Wasteland’ Author
Talks Food Waste

Photo used in American Wasteland book cover, courtesy of Jonathan Bloom.
We all have a role to play in the food waste problem — and in the solution, according to American Wasteland author Jonathan Bloom. Read our Q&A with Bloom, and get his tips for reducing food waste.

READ MORE »

Small business and ACA


Calvin W. Goings Regional Administrator Calvin W. Goings

The Affordable Care Act, Part 3

The U.S. Small Business Administration is committed to educating small business owners about the facts surrounding the Affordable Care Act, so that you can make an informed decision about what makes sense for your business – including whether you choose to apply for a tax credit.

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, small businesses are benefitting from improved accountability and affordability in the health insurance market. As you prepare for the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplaces to begin open enrollment on October 1, it is important that small businesses, who offer health insurance to their employees, remember that you may also be eligible for a tax credit. This can significantly offset the cost of providing insurance, by crediting a percentage of small business owners’ premium contributions.

Through 2013, to qualify for a small business tax credit of up to 35 percent (up to 25 percent for non-profits) of your premium contributions, you must meet all of the following criteria:

·         Have fewer than 25 full-time equivalent employees

·         Pay average annual wages below $50,000

·         And, contribute 50 percent or more toward your employees’ self-only health insurance premiums.

Beginning in January 2014, this tax credit increases to 50 percent (35 percent for non-profits) and will be available to small businesses who meet the criteria listed above and who purchase coverage through the new SHOP Marketplaces (also known as Exchanges). This enhanced credit can be claimed for any two consecutive taxable years beginning in 2014 (or beginning in a later year) through the SHOP.

To determine whether your small business or tax exempt organization qualifies for the credit, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) offers a helpful step-by-step guide. Visit http://www.taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/ and search for the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit. If you have additional questions about the tax credit, or need assistance completing the necessary forms, call the IRS Business Help Line at 1-800-829-4933.

Once you’ve determined that you qualify for the credit, your tax professional can help guide you through the necessary steps to claim the credit which include:

·         Carrying the credit back or forward to other tax years.

·         Obtaining a refundable credit if you are a tax-exempt employer. (Note this is a federal tax credit. You may also be eligible for additional health care tax credits from your state.)

·         Using Form 8941, Credit for Small Employer Health Insurance Premiums, to calculate the credit. It’s also important to know that eligible small employers can claim the credit and still take a business expense deduction for the remainder of their premium contributions.

The Affordable Care Act allows small employers to offer health coverage in a way that makes sense for their business and works for their bottom line, and the SBA is committed to leveraging our resources and federal partnerships to connect you with the facts and resources you need to understand the law.

To learn more, visit www.sba.gov/healthcare.