Could the tax on medical devices affect you?

The Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) tax on medical devices has been getting plenty of attention. What is the tax all about?

As part of ACA (also known as Obamacare), medical device manufacturers and importers must pay a 2.3 percent tax on the sale of any taxable medical device. (The fee became effective on  Jan. 1, 2013). This fee is expected to raise $29 billion over 10 years to help pay for the health reform law. The manufacturer or importer is responsible for reporting and paying the tax — not the consumer.

The law does not prohibit manufacturers and importers from passing the tax to providers, such as hospitals.

Which medical device will be taxed? Certain medical devices such as eyeglasses,  contact lenses, hearing aids and other consumer products are exempt. Other medical devices, such a joint replacements and MRI scanners, would be taxable under ACA. 

Denise Pinkney is an editor/project leader in the Communications department at Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota.

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