Whether you have health insurance or not, it’s important to stay abreast of the major changes that have occurred to the healthcare system in the wake of the Affordable Care Act
—also known as Obamacare. Fortunately, the IRS has issued four reminders to Americans as they go forward. After each reminder, I’ve added a short bit of additional information and commentary. 1. Most people already have qualified health insurance coverage and will not need to do anything more than maintain qualified coverage throughout 2014.
Indeed, many employers offer health insurance that fits the requirements set by the Affordable Care Act. If your employer offers an acceptable plan and you do not take it, you will be mandated to register for health insurance or, eventually, pay a penalty fee. 2. If you do not have health insurance through your job or a government plan, you may be able to buy it through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
Using the marketplace, accessible at healthcare.gov, is a new tool launched by the government to help Americans find the insurance plan that works best for them. The deadline to sign up for 2014 has passed, but you can still browse plans for next year on the Marketplace.3. If you buy your insurance through the Marketplace, you may be eligible for an advance premium tax credit to lower your out-of-pocket monthly premiums.
Tax credits and subsidies are a major part of the Affordable Care Act. By offering ways to lower premiums and expenses, the government is encouraging Americans to get covered. You must meet certain requirements including whether your employer offers a plan and how much money you make. 4. Your 2014 tax return will ask if you had insurance coverage or qualified for an exemption. If not, you may owe a shared responsibility payment when you file in 2015.
The IRS issues tips and reminders periodically and you can browse them by visiting www.IRS.gov. IF you have questions about health insurance or about Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), visit newdirectionira.com.