Facts About Health Care Reform

If you’re starting to hear more about health care reform or as some call it Obamacare, you’re not alone. If you have questions about health care and are not sure what to do when, TurboTax is here for you to clarify any conflicting information and give you the important facts about health care reform.

What is health care reform?

The Affordable Care Act, or health care reform, is designed to provide cost-effective health insurance to those who are uninsured.

If you are uninsured and you are required to purchase health insurance, you can purchase health insurance in the health care marketplace beginning October 1, 2013.  If you purchase your insurance in the health care market place you may be eligible for a subsidy from the government to help pay for your insurance.

Here’s what you need to know right now:

  • The requirement to purchase healthcare does not impact your 2013 tax return. Phew! You don’t need to do anything right now.
  • But you should know that your 2012 tax return will help determine your eligibility for an insurance subsidy from the government, which will help you purchase health insurance under the health care law..
  • When you file your 2013 tax return you still don’t need to do anything.  The requirement to purchase healthcare does not impact your 2013 tax return.
  • Beginning in Oct. 1, 2013, uninsured Americans will be able to enroll in a health plan through online state and federal exchanges.
  • By March 31, 2014 everyone, except for a few, will be required to purchase health insurance or face a tax penalty.

There are a few groups of people who will not be required to get health care coverage or pay a penalty. This includes those with income below the IRS requirements for filing taxes, those who qualify for religious exemptions, and members of Indian tribes.

Have specific questions about how this impacts you?  Ask them below or get health care reform answers in our TurboTax community.

TurboTaxLisa

Lisa Lewis is a CPA and the TurboTax Blog Editor. Lisa has 15 years of experience in tax preparation. Her success is attributed to being able to interpret tax laws and help clients better understand them. Lisa also has been a TurboTax product user for many years and understands how the software program works. In addition to extensive tax experience, Lisa also has a very well-rounded professional background. She has held positions as a public auditor, controller, and operations manager. Prior to becoming the TurboTax Blog Editor, she was a Technical Writer for the TurboTax Consumer Group and worked on a project to write new FAQs to help customers better understand tax laws. She could also be seen helping TurboTax customers with tax questions during Lifeline. For Lisa, getting timely and accurate information out to customers to help them is paramount.

Comments (2) Leave your comment

  1. OK so how will the tax penalty be determined? Cause I don’t qualify for government help and the cheapest health insurance I could find is $200 a month for my family and I only make $800 a month. I can’t afford it.

  2. I was fired in 2012 not entitled to unemployment had to liquidate my 401k to survive for this past year 2013 and still have not found a job. So my tax return looks like I made money when in reality I did not for 2013. How will I get insurance without having funds to cover it? Will I too be penalized for no insurance in 2013 because of my tax return for 2012 when I did have job and health insurance thru my job?

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