Health Care Reform
As part of efforts to address the health insurance needs of members, NAR has advocated for reform of the health insurance markets that provide coverage to the self-employed and small employers. Here you’ll find information about new health care reform laws that will make a major change to many aspects of our health care system.
More than one-quarter of REALTORS® are uninsured. As part of efforts to address the health insurance needs of members, NAR has advocated for reform of the health insurance markets that provide coverage to the self-employed and small employers for more than nine years.
Among the legislative approaches that NAR has advocated are small business health options plans (SHOP), small business health plans (SBHPs) and association health plans (AHPs). NAR continued to represent the interests of the REALTOR® community in the recently completed comprehensive health reform debate.
Patient Protection and the Affordable Care Act
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) (link is external) was signed into law on March 23, 2010. On June 28, 2012, in a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the ACA.
The Act is complex and multifaceted; of particular importance to REALTORS® and those who must purchase their own health insurance are the ACA underwriting and rating reforms that help to conform the characteristics of health insurance plans purchased by individuals with plans that are traditionally available from employers. Many provisions of the law were effective immediately. The last provisions of the ACA were scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1, 2015, though that timeline was extended for some .
Legislation, Rulings & Timeline
NAR has put together information on the two bills that comprised the health reform legislation, including Congressional roll call votes, summaries of the bills’ provisions, and the text of the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act.
Want to learn more?
Both NAR and independent organizations have created a wide array of materials to help explain the provisions of the new health law, as well as provide more detailed commentary. Some of the most helpful materials can be found at:
- Healthcare.gov (link is external)
The federal government website that provides health insurance choices for individuals, families and small businesses.
- Kaiser Health News FAQs (link is external)
Kaiser Health News has put together a list of hot topics on the health law, insurance, medicare and medicaid, and other FAQs.
- Kaiser Family Foundation FAQs (link is external)
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation compiled an extensive list of frequently asked questions to help you understand the eligibility, requirements, and responsibilities under the Affordable Care Act.
- IRS Individual Mandate FAQs (link is external)
Starting January 2014, you and your family must either have health care coverage, have an exemption from coverage, or make a payment when you file your 2014 tax return in 2015.
- IRS Employer Mandate
The Obama Administration has delayed the implementation of the employer mandate until January, 2015 to give businesses additional time to comply with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Review the IRS tax provisions for employers (link is external).
- NAR FAQ: The 3.8% Tax
A 3.8 percent tax on investment income was created as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) (link is external). This tax WILL NOT be imposed on all real estate transactions, a common misconception. Please view our frequently asked questions to help you understand this tax provision.
- State Actions to Address Health Insurance Exchanges (link is external)
The National Conference of State Legislatures has a map showing the decisions made by each state regarding the the state Health Exchange marketplaces that serve as the new insurance marketplace for individual and small business insurance coverage.
- How to Apply for An Exemption (link is external)
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services published a fact sheet released by the IRS on the various exemptions from the individual mandate, such as being unable to find affordable health insurance or living in a state that did not expand Medicaid.
Want to Learn More?
HealthCare.gov - Access to Federal and State Health Insurance Exchanges