ASK THE LAWYER: September 2012

Q: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – How Will the Supreme Court Decision Affect Me?

A: On June 28, 2012, the United States Supreme Court upheld most of the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, including the individual mandate, the most controversial provision of the Act, which requires most people to obtain health insurance by 2014 or be forced to pay an annual penalty. The penalty will start at $95 per year in 2014, jump to $695 by 2016, and will be indexed by inflation subsequently. Uninsured individuals will either have to pay the flat fee or 2.5% of their income, whichever is greater. The Congressional Budget Office estimates 21 million nonelderly residents will be uninsured in 2016, but not all of these will pay penalties because of exceptions, which include religious objectors, and those who make less than 100% of the federal poverty line. The Act has been a highly charged political issue and will likely play a part in the presidential election later this year. We will see whether the Act’s underlying goals of decreasing the number of uninsured Americans and lowering the costs of health care will come to fruition.

This article is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. The information contained in this article does not create an attorney-client relationship between Karen McKeithen Schaede Attorney at Law, PLLC and the reader.