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Extra tax intended to cover costs of ACA

SPRINGFIELD -- When the last phase of the Affordable Care Act kicks in next year, everyone will pay a little more in taxes and so will the State of Illinois.
SPRINGFIELD -- When the last phase of the Affordable Care Act kicks in next year, everyone will pay a little more in taxes and so will the State of Illinois. But, one state senator isn't sure how we'll pay for it. WCIA-3's Steve Staeger keeps us Connected to the Capitol.

This tax is called the "transitional reassurance assessment fee." Big words meaning everyone on a group health insurance plan will pay a little more each month to help cover the cost of the new healthcare system.

It starts in January. It will cost single people about $5/month. It's up to employers to collect that tax, so they have a choice whether they want to charge employees or pay for it themselves.

But, one state senator says it will hit taxpayers. He says local governments and the state will have to pay the tax for their employees. He also says the state will have to pay the tax on some Medicaid recipients.

In the end, Senator Dave Syverson (R) says it will cost the State of Illinois about $40-million/year. He's not sure how Illinois can afford it.

"The State of Illinois doesn't have $40-million sitting around. We already have a record-backlog of unpaid bills, so where is Illinois going to come up with the $40-million that is has to pay for its Medicaid recipients and state employees?"

For single workers on their company health insurance, the cost is $5/month, so about $60/year. Syverson says the tax on a family of four will be more like $21/month and more than $200/year. Again, it's up to the employer whether or not to charge the tax.

Tune in Monday when WCIA-3 News will have special coverage for Healthcare Awareness Day. All of our newscasts from 5 am - 10 pm will aim to answer your questions and provide you with information you can use.
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