What is the Affordable Health Care Law?

The new Affordable Health Care Law means there will be changes for tax preparers across the United States. Beginning on October 1, 2013, the Federal government will begin open enrollment for millions of Americans.

This will be new territory for EROs across the United States because your customer's tax information will affect their health insurance. It is estimated that many Americans know little to nothing about how the upcoming Health Care laws will affect them and their tax return. It will most likely fall upon the tax preparers to educate and help tax payers file for premium tax credit eligibility in 2014.

The bottom line is that many Americans don’t understand what the Affordable Health Care Law will mean to them. Fortunately for you, this article will help shed some light on some of the questions that your clients will ask you in the very near future. Let’s take a look at a few of them:

Affordable Health Care FAQs

A. The purpose of the Affordable Health care Law is to provide affordable health care to all Americans and reduce the overall cost of health care. The new law is expected to cover over 30 million people through a combination of public and private sector health insurance expansions and was enacted on March 23, 2010. The law is slated to be phased in over 4 years. The Affordable Health Care Law requires health insurance companies to cover all applicants and offer the same rates regardless of pre-existing conditions or sex. The law provides a number of methods to employers and individuals to increase the coverage rate and health insurance affordability that includes mandates, subsidies, and tax credits.

After being signed into law, many Americans started taking advantage of many of the law’s provisions that included:
  • No cost sharing for preventive care
  • Appeals processes are guaranteed
  • Choice of primary care provider is guaranteed
  • Direct access for OB/GYN Services is guaranteed
  • Discrimination based on salary is banned
  • Help for uninsured Americans with pre-existing conditions through risk pools
  • Lifetime limits on coverage are banned
  • Rescissions of coverage when the covered individual gets ill are banned
  • No discrimination against children with pre-existing conditions
  • Annual limits on insurance coverage are regulated
  • Help for retirees
  • Small business tax credits
  • Medicare Part D donut hole rebate checks (Coverage Gap)
  • Children up to age 26 can stay on their parent’s insurance

Open enrollment for all Americans begins on October 1, 2013 and each American citizen must have minimum essential health insurance coverage by January 1, 2014 or be subject to a penalty.

A person has minimum essential health insurance coverage if he or she has a:
  • Individual plan
  • Government sponsored plan
  • Employer sponsored plan

A. Anyone that doesn’t have minimum essential health insurance coverage may have to pay a penalty on their 2014 tax return. The Affordable Health Care Law penalty increases every year that an individual does not have health insurance.

The penalty is slated to be 1/12th of the greater of:
  • 2014- $95 per uninsured adult in the household or one percent of the household income over the filing threshold
  • 2015- $325 per uninsured adult in the household or two percent of the household income over the filing threshold
  • 2016- $695 per uninsured adult in the household or 2.5 percent of the household income over the filing threshold (whichever is greater) and capped at $2,085 per household

The penalty will be half of the amount for people under 18 and it is calculated for each month you or your dependent(s) do not have coverage.

There are several exclusions to the penalty that include:
  • Having a hardship waiver
  • Not covered for less than three months during the year
  • Member of a qualified Native American Indian Tribe
  • Religious reasons
  • Not present in the United States
  • In prison
  • Not able to pay for coverage that is more than eight percent of the household income
  • An income that is below 100 percent of the poverty Level

A. If someone doesn't have health coverage in 2014, he or she may have to pay a penalty and also pay for all of their health care needs. The health care law requires everyone that can afford health coverage to take responsibility for their own health insurance or face a penalty. Open enrollment begins on October 1, 2013 and ends on March 31, 2014. After March 31, 2014 they can only get new private health insurance through a special enrollment period if they have a qualifying life event.

To avoid the penalty, your customers need insurance that qualifies as minimum essential coverage.

If your clients are covered by any of the following below they are considered covered and won't have to pay a penalty:
  • Any Marketplace plan, or any individual insurance plan you already have
  • Any Employer plan (including COBRA), with or without grandfathered status. This includes retiree plans
  • Medicare
  • Medicaid
  • The Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
  • TRICARE (for veterans and veteran families)
  • Veterans health care programs
  • Peace Corps Volunteer plans
A. Certain uninsured people will not have to pay the penalty. These individuals consist of people that:
  • are uninsured for less than 3 months of the year
  • are determined to have very low income and coverage is considered unaffordable
  • are not required to file a tax return because their income is too low
  • would qualify under the new income limits for Medicaid, but their state has chosen not to expand Medicaid eligibility
  • are a member of a federally recognized Indian tribe
  • participate in a health care sharing ministry
  • are a member of a recognized religious sect with religious objections to health insurance

These are just a few of the common questions. For additional answers and training on what the Affordable Health Care Laws means to your customers TaxSlayer Pro encourages you to attend our Annual Seminar Held on November 13th - 14th, 2014.

TRUSTe online privacy certification

At TaxSlayerPro.com (collectively “We”, “Us”, “Our or “TaxSlayer Pro”), we are committed to safeguarding customer information on www.taxslayerpro.com. Since your privacy is a priority to us, TaxSlayer Pro will not share nonpublic information about you with third parties outside of the TaxSlayer corporate family without your consent, except as explained in our Privacy Policy

If you have an unresolved privacy or data use concern that we have not addressed satisfactorily, please contact our U.S.-based third party dispute resolution provider (free of charge) at https://feedback-form.truste.com/watchdog/request.

PRIVACY POLICY

Protecting your privacy is important to TaxSlayer Pro. We want you to understand what information we may gather and how we may share it. This Privacy Policy explains TaxSlayer Pro's collection, use, retention and security of information about you.

How We Collect Information

Visiting our Web Site

We will not collect personal information about you just because you visit this site. In order to improve the usefulness of our web site for our visitors, we automatically collect and maintain statistical information from our site's data logs that concern network traffic flow and volume. This information consists of:


  • The name of the domain from which the visitor accesses the Internet (e.g., "a company.com"; "a school.edu"; or "an agency.gov")
  • The Internet Protocol Address; and
  • The date and time our website is visited
  • Browser type
  • Internet service provider
  • Referring/exit pages
  • Operating system
  • Clickstream data

This information does not identify individual visitors and is used to enhance and improve your experience on our site. No attempts are made to identify individual users unless illegal behavior is suspected.


Mobile

When you download and use our Services, we automatically collect information on the type of device you use and the operating system version. We use mobile analytics software to allow us to better understand the functionality of our Mobile Software on your phone. This software may record information such as how often you use the application, the events that occur within the application, aggregated usage, performance data, and where the application was downloaded from. We do not link the information we store within the analytics software to any personally identifiable information you submit within the mobile app.


Purchasing our Products

The purpose of this site is to market and sell our software. As a result, you may have to provide us your personal information and/or email address. We do not share or disseminate this information to other vendors or clients. This information is kept in strictest, secure, confidence. If you choose to purchase our products online, you will be asked for personal information as well as your credit card number. The forms requesting this information are on a secure server. All steps are taken to safeguard your information.


Tracking Technologies

Technologies such as: cookies, beacons, tags and scripts are used by TaxSlayer and our partners affiliates, or analytics or service providers. For an updated list of these providers please contact our marketing team. These technologies are used in analyzing trends, administering the site, tracking users’ movements around the site and to gather demographic information about our user base as a whole. We may receive reports based on the use of these technologies by these companies on an individual as well as aggregated basis. We use cookies for [our shopping cart, to remember users’ settings (e.g. language preference), for authentication]. Users can control the use of cookies at the individual browser level. If you reject cookies, you may still use our site, but your ability to use some features or areas of our site may be limited.


Behavioral Advertising

We partner with a third party to either display advertising on our Web site or to manage our advertising on other sites. Our third party partner may use technologies such as cookies to gather information about your activities on this site and other sites in order to provide you advertising based upon your browsing activities and interests. If you wish to not have this information used for the purpose of serving you interest-based ads, you may opt-out by clicking here. Please note this does not opt you out of being served ads. You will continue to receive generic ads.


Information Gathering

The information we gather, in addition to your tax return, includes:

Credit Card including:

Cardholder's name, credit card type, credit card number, expiration date, billing address, email address. Credit card data is used to complete our transactions and none of this information is shared with anyone else.

• Technical Assistance

User name, user ID, email address, operating system, connection, browser.

We may also collect, from you, the following personal information about your contacts:

If you choose to use our referral service to tell a friend about our site, we will ask you for your friend's name and email address. We will automatically send your friend a one-time email inviting him or her to visit the site. TaxSlayer Pro stores this information for the sole purpose of sending this one-time email [and tracking the success of our referral program]. Your friend may contact us at Customer Support to request that we remove this information from our database.

When you provide us with personal information about your contacts we will only use this information for the specific reason for which it is provided.

If you believe that one of your contacts has provided us with your personal information and you would like to request that it be removed from our database, please contact us at support@support.taxslayerpro.com


Newsletters

We will use your name and email address to send newsletters to you. Out of respect for your privacy, we provide you a way to unsubscribe. Please email Customer Support to opt out.


Sharing Information

We will share your personal information with third parties only in the ways that are described in this privacy policy. We do not sell your personal information to third parties.


  • Within TaxSlayer Corporate Family
    We may share information about you and the products and services you have purchased from us, among members of the TaxSlayer Corporate family and our parent company of Rhodes Financial Services, all of whom follow our Privacy Policy. However, this information will not be provided to third parties outside our corporate family, except as noted below:
  • With Our Service Providers
    In some cases, we employ service providers to provide a product you order, to fulfill a service you request, or to market one of our products or services. Examples include using Web analytical software, Web beacons, delivering downloadable products, offering online software applications, or sending e-mails on our behalf. While this may require us to share information, these service providers are strictly prohibited from using your information other than to act on our behalf.
  • For Legal Reasons
    We may be required to provide information about you to third parties outside of the TaxSlayer corporate family without your consent as provided by law, such as, to respond to lawful requests by public authorities, including to meet national security or law enforcement requirements , a subpoena or court order, judicial process or bankruptcy proceedings, regulatory authorities, to protect against fraud.
  • In Case of Sale of Company
    Your information may be transferred in connection with a proposed or actual sale, merger, or transfer of all or a portion of a business or operating unit. You will be notified via email and/or a prominent notice on our Web site of any change in ownership or uses of your personal information, as well as any choices you may have regarding your personal information.

Testimonials

We post customer testimonials on our web site, which may contain personal information such as the customer's name. We do obtain the customer's consent prior to posting the testimonial to post their name along with their testimonial. If you wish to update or delete your testimonial, you can contact us at support@support.taxslayerpro.com.


Blog / Forum

Our web site offers publicly accessible blogs or community forums. You should be aware that any information you provide in these areas may be read, collected, and used by others who access them. To request removal of your personal information from our blog or community forum, contact us at support@support.taxslayerpro.com. In some cases, we may not be able to remove your personal information, in which case we will let you know if we are unable to do so and why. Alternatively, if you used a third party application to post such information, you can remove it, by either logging into the said application and removing the information or by contacting the appropriate third party application.


Links

As a service to our customers, we have installed links to various tax agencies/services. These include IRS.Gov, and various state agencies and organizations. The links provided are maintained by these separate entities and are not the property of, or affiliated with, TaxSlayer Pro. If you submit personal information to any of those sites, your information is governed by their privacy policies. We encourage you to carefully read the privacy policy of any Web site you visit.


Social Media Widgets

Our Web site includes Social Media Features, such as the Facebook Like button [and Widgets, such as the Share this button or interactive mini-programs that run on our site]. These Features may collect your IP address, which page you are visiting on our site, and may set a cookie to enable the Feature to function properly. Social Media Features and Widgets are either hosted by a third party or hosted directly on our Site. Your interactions with these Features are governed by the privacy policy of the company providing it.


Our Former Customers

Even if you are no longer a TaxSlayer customer, our Privacy Policy will continue to apply to you.


Our Security Practices and Information Accuracy

TaxSlayer understands the importance of protecting customer information. TaxSlayer adheres to regulatory, security, and privacy standards applicable to the tax preparation industry. TaxSlayer’s web-based and desktop applications have a proven record of securing Taxpayer information by utilizing a variety of security related technologies including, but not limited to, firewalls, intrusion detection systems, web application firewalls, encryption, access controls, network isolation, auditing systems, data classifications, and data obfuscation. In order to protect the data as our client enters it in the system, TaxSlayer incorporates the use of SSL encryption facilitated by an SSL Certificate issued by a recognized trusted certificate authority. TaxSlayer utilizes security guards, access controls, biometrics, man traps, and other security mechanisms to protect physical access to the datacenter.

TaxSlayer’s information systems maintain PCI compliance which must be renewed annually. Additionally, our systems are routinely subject to automated vulnerability testing purposely exceeding the requirements of PCI compliance. This practice allows quicker identification and remediation of risks to the privacy of taxpayer data. Internal audits are performed continuously throughout the year to ensure compliance with regulatory standards and TaxSlayer’s Information Security Policy Manual. If you have any questions about the security of your personal information, you can contact us at support@support.taxslayerpro.com.

Data Retention

We will retain your information for as long as your account is active or as needed to provide you services. If you wish to cancel your account or request that we no longer use your information to provide you services contact us at support@support.taxslayerpro.com. We will retain and use your information as necessary to comply with our legal obligations, resolve disputes, and enforce our agreements.

Access to Personal Information:

Upon request TaxSlayer.com will provide you with information about whether we hold any of your personal information. Personal Information is accessible online through October 20 of the year in which the return is filed. You may view, delete and/or make changes to your personal information by visiting your account online at www.taxslayerpro.com and selecting "Edit Account Information" or by emailing our Customer Support at support@support.taxslayerpro.com or by contacting us by telephone or postal mail at the contact information listed below. Any return e-filed through TaxSlayer Pro will be available only in PDF format (fees may apply). We will respond to your request to access within a reasonable timeframe.

How to Contact Us:

If you have questions or concerns regarding this policy, you should first contact customer support at support@support.taxslayerpro.com.

You can also write us at:

TaxSlayer Pro Privacy
3003 TaxSlayer Drive Evans, GA 30809

Changes in this Privacy Policy

The Privacy Policy applies to products and services of TaxSlayer Pro, online. We reserve the right to change this Privacy Policy, and any of the policies described above, at any time. Any changes to our policy will be immediately posted and made available to consumers at our website and these changes will not take effect for 15 days after their initial posting. We will also email users with this information. If we make any material changes we will notify you by email (sent to the e-mail Other Types of Information We Gather, address specified in your account) or by means of a notice on this Site prior to the change becoming effective. The examples contained within this Privacy Policy are illustrations; they are not intended to be exclusive.

Approved and Effective 09/26/16