Millions of Americans will face hidden tax surcharges in their insurance premiums and income-tax bills under the Affordable Care Act.
The new taxes and fees include a 2 percent levy on health insurance policies, which should net about $8 billion for the government in 2014 and increase to $14.3 billion by 2018, according to the New York Post.
Most companies aren’t showing the fees on customer bills, but Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama is distinguishing them on a separate line that read “Affordable Care Act Fees and Taxes.”
The tax hike amounts to $23.14 a month, or $277.68 annually, according to a statement provided to Kaiser Health News from one BCBS Alabama customer.
Added to the “Current Amount Due for Benefits” of $322.26, the total monthly premium becomes $345.40 for one person.
Premium increases for decades have been attributed to taxes, but these taxes aren't typically published on a customer’s bill.
“One thing that bothers me is attributing any amount specifically to the ‘Affordable Care Act,’” wrote Mark Hall, a law professor at Wake Forest University, in an email to NPR. “There are also state premium taxes, and normal corporate and sales taxes, none of which are itemized the same way.”
Besides, Hall says, it’s unlikely that BCBS of Alabama would be able to calculate the ACA taxes and fees so precisely.
There’s also a Medicare tax coming down the pipe for 2014. Individuals making more than $200,000 and families making more than $250,000 per year will pay an extra 0.9 percent Medicare surtax in addition to the 1.45 percent Medicare payroll tax.
Americans who purchase medical devices will now pay a 2.3 percent medical device tax.
ACA supporters say the federal subsidies program under the bill should offset the taxes and much o the premium for low-income families.