2 changes nonprofits will face as a result to the Affordable Care Act

The implementation of the Affordable Care Act will likely change the social health care landscape for years to come. Partisanship aside, the concept is predicated on the idea that all U.S. citizens should have the right to health insurance coverage, regardless of income or job title. 

New legislation in the health care industry will likely affect most hospitals, walk-in clinics and nonprofit practices because most medical providers are listed as 501(c)(3) organizations. No matter the size of the organization, they are all going to play critical roles in providing more people with the treatment they need. In turn, most functional aspects of these charities will have to adapt, from the patients they serve to how they accept online donations.

Listed below are two ways nonprofits may change in wake of the Affordable Care Act enrollment:

1. Nonprofits will need to serve lower-income individuals: A number of charitable organizations are already focused on serving lower-income individuals, but larger medical providers may have to adapt to accept more patients who've been approved for either private or public insurance coverage under the ACA's open enrollment program. Nonprofit payment processing is likely to change as well because of the increased number of insured individuals who no longer have to pay out of pocket for medical expenses and go through insurance companies. Nonprofit medical providers are likely to have to deal with health navigators - a function created by the ACA to help people find insurance coverage on the state and federal exchanges by providing information about their options in addition to assisting with the enrollment process, the NonProfit Quarterly said.

2. Health insurance credit is convoluted: Both small for-profit and nonprofit organizations are now eligible to receive a tax credit against business earnings with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. To be eligible for the credit, a business has to have 25 or fewer full-time employees, pay annual salaries of less than $50,000 and offer health insurance for which the employers paid at least half of the workers' premiums, the NonProfit Quarterly reported. The requirements seem to fit the bill of most nonprofit organizations - or at least the smaller medical providers and walk-in clinics. However, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration found that in 2012, most nonprofits were not active users of the credit. To claim the refund, nonprofits must fill out Form 8941, but 3.5 percent of applicants made mistakes on the form - half of which were charities. 

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