Federal Tax on Health Insurance Plans Returns January 1 - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Federal Tax on Health Insurance Plans Returns January 1

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Courtesy: MGN Courtesy: MGN

A federal tax on health insurance plans is returning in 2018. It could mean another couple of hundred bucks out of your pocket. It's called the Health Insurance Tax, ready to raise your insurance premiums with a boost of around 3%. Reno health insurance consultant Gene Furr represents the non-partisan Northern Nevada Association of Health Underwriters. He told us, "Anyone who purchases an individual policy, anyone who purchases a group health plan through their employer is going to be impacted. Even seniors are impacted."

The Health Insurance Tax first began in 2014 to help fund the Affordable Care Act. Congress put a one-year moratorium on the tax early this year, Furr says, "Because it's expensive, and it does have a major impact on people."

But the year is ending, and the tax is set to return January 1st. The Association of Health Underwriters says it will affect half of all Nevadans, and the 3% rise in premiums pales to what it will cost in real dollars. An individual will have to shell out another $215 a year. A family of four? $500. As Furr said, "That's $500 a year in additional in additional cost on a product that's already extremely expensive."

But businesses in northern Nevada take the hit too. The Brewers Cabinet beer production plant opened in west Reno three years ago. It produces 50 kegs a day, and stacks of pallets of cans of beer. It's helped make Reno one of the top hubs of the craft beer movement. But now with 20 full timers, owner Zach Cage says his business, which covers part of his employee premiums, is about to be crippled. As he put it, "We see it impacting not just out employees which are the next generation, but also the industry and the local area, which we're passionate about."

A bill called the "Healthcare Tax Relief Act" was introduced to delay this tax. Senator Dean Heller is a sponsor of the legislation in Congress. But with the busy dealings in D.C., it's not even scheduled for a vote. What can taxpayers do? Furr told us, "Well they can talk to their congressman. But they're not that aware of it. This is one of those taxes...like everything else, it's typically hidden." But not hidden for long, once the costs show up on insurance bills.

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