Health Care Reform and Your Taxes

Lately you may be hearing buzz about health care reform, Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare on the news.

These are the unofficial names for The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a national health care plan signed into law by President Obama that aims to provide the majority of Americans with access to affordable health care.

Not sure what this new health care law is or if it changes anything for you and your family?  Don’t worry, TurboTax has you covered.

Here are the facts straight from our experts.

  • The Affordable Care Act requires that all Americans (with a few exceptions) have health insurance starting in 2014.
  • If you have health insurance, you’re all set.  80% of Americans already have health insurance through their employer, Medicaid, Medicare, or individual insurance and are already in compliance with the new law.  If you fall into this bucket, you don’t need to do anything.  You’re all set.
  • If you’re uninsured, you can shop for health insurance in the online Health Insurance Marketplace.  The Marketplace, which opens October 1, 2013, helps you compare your health insurance coverage options and costs.  You have until March 31, 2014 to purchase health insurance through the marketplace.  If you choose not to, you could face a health care tax penalty on your 2014 tax return (the one you file in 2015).
  • You may be eligible for financial assistance to help cover insurance cost.  If you purchase your health insurance through the online health insurance marketplace or exchange, you may be eligible for a government subsidy in the form of a tax credit.  Unlike most tax credits, you will not have to wait to receive the tax credit or subsidy; it will be applied to your insurance in 2014 when your coverage begins.
  • When it comes to the new health care law, TurboTax has you covered.  The requirement to purchase health insurance does NOT impact your 2013 tax return (the one you file in 2014).  TurboTax is up to date with all the latest tax and health care laws so you can be confident that your taxes are done right with TurboTax. 

Still have questions about how the new health care law impacts you and your family? TurboTax AnswerXchange will give you answers to your personal healthcare questions.

Just answer a few simple questions and it will tell you how the new law impacts you and whether you’re eligible for financial assistance, so that you can make the best choice for your health care needs and budget.

To find out more about the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare,  you can also watch our video.


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 (974) Leave your comment

  1. My employer only pays 50% of the group premium. In lieu of a salary increase they want to add the additional 50% to my gross wages and then deduct it pre tax to pay my share. What are the advantages to me rather than them just paying the 100% and not run it thru my payroll check.

  2. Hi Turbo TaxLisa,
    Is the amount that I receive from the tax credit subsidy considered Taxable Income in the state of PA.?
    Thank you,

      • I have posted numerous questions over the last couple of months to which I have received no answers. I have no idea whether the folks at TurboTax monitor this blog or not. If so, then they are just very picky about what they want to answer.

  3. We receive the affordable health care tax credit for low income earners. If we file our taxes late what effect will this have on us receiving the tax credit?

    • Hi Gideon,
      If you receive an advance premium tax credit or are eligible to claim the tax credit on your taxes that you received in 2014 on your 2015 taxes then you would have to file your taxes. In addition, anyone that has a tax filing requirement for example income over $10,000 if single and $20,000 if married filing jointly has to file their taxes in order to receive the credit.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  4. If you receive a tax credit that pays for your health ins each month under obamacare does that mean I will no longer receive my tax return ?

    • Janice,
      When you prepare your 2014 tax return next year, you will calculate the exact amount of subsidy you are entitled to. If the subsidy you actually applied to your premiums is more than the subsidy calculated, the difference can reduce your refund. If your calculated subsidy is more than you received, you will increase your refund.

  5. For tax year 2014, if I am self employed and purchase a policy through the marketplace paying 100% of the premium, can I deducted the premium as an expense on my taxes in 2014? Currently in 2013 if I am paying 100% of my premiums and show a profit, these premiums are deductible to reduce my income. I can not find anything that answers this question for me.

    • Hi Michelle,
      The Self-employed health insurance deduction is still available. If you receive a subsidy from the marketplace, you will need to reduce your deduction by the amount of the subsidy.

  6. My only income is from social security disability but I have only been on it for one year and can’t get medicare until I have been on ssd for two years . The ssd is not taxable income .I make $1200a month on ssd and can’t afford to pay the premium on the healthcare and still pay my bills and utilities .the healthcare marketplace said I could not get a tax credit discount ,I make just over the limit for medicaid in my state of tn.This affordble healthcare is not affordable at all.

  7. Hello,
    My wife and I now receive medical benefits under the affordable care act. My question is that we cannot file tax returns “married filing jointly”, and must file “married filing separately” due to the fact that my refund is always kept by the federal government due to a large legal debt that I incurred long before our marriage. Does the ACA demand that we file jointly in CA, or can we still file “married filing separately” without losing the medical benefits? I am not concerned with paying higher taxes, but I am very concerned about affecting my wife financially. I don’t want to file an innocent spouse claim after the fact, as I just don’t want to effect her with this.

    • File 8379 Injured spouse with your federal tax return and you can file together and it wont affect her portion at all.

  8. My husband and I are at about 300% poverty level. I m not insured, my husband will start medicare from june. Our adult son is unemployed, files his own tax return, and is depended on us, and is covered under medicaid. If we include him as dependent on our tax return, will he loose his medicaid coverage ? And if we include him in our tax return, it will bring our income below 250%, will i be eligble for medicaid or any other subsidy ? Thank you.

  9. I make $32,000 a year. After taxes it figures out to about $1900 a month. By the time I pay rent, food, car insurance, water, electric, gas heat, gas car…. I barely have $250 left over. How am I supposed to pay $325 a month for insurance, what happens if my car breaks down. I’m being asked to pay over 15% of my take home pay for insurance, that has a hefty $2500 I have to pay before the insurance actually starts paying for anything. Thats all add’s up to nearly 25% of my take home pay. How is this considered Affordable? I see who its affordable for, not me thats for sure. I suppose Obama wants me to eat Ramen for breakfast lunch dinner. Tell the truth Lisa, or are you afraid to tell people the real truth and the real math.

  10. Hi, my wife and I are both covered under insurance by her employer. However her’s is free and mine is $100 per pay period. I’m retired and and should receive free medical, but why does the IRS require us to file married, when in fact we could file separately. When I ran my numbers through the Gov site, it said I was eligble for a $8000 a year credit. Our current insurance is 70/30 and $2500 out of pocket. This insurance is in case you get ill or something major, not for basic health, there is no copay allowed. Isn’t that just a little bit criminal. Why won’t the Government post the numbers on what people will be paying based on their estimated incomes so they can see whether to deny Insurance from their company when they can get a much better deal from the Afforadable Plans.

  11. Can an employer cover medical insurance on an employees child every year if the employee is divorced and only gets to claim the child as a dependent every other year?

  12. if an employee pays 50% of medical insurance of an employees child (dependent) and the employee is divorced and claims the child as a dependent every other year, can the employee still cover 50% of the childs medical insurance on the years the employee does not claim the child on their income tax as a deduction?

    • Hi Lena,
      Yes the fact that the employer covers 50% of a child’s medical expenses does not relate to the employee claiming their child on their taxes every other year. It is still their child and can qualify to be covered on the insurance plan.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  13. I have insurance under the Marketplace and pay $81.00 per month. I was informed by my tax person that my refund is being help up because the IRS will be taking some of my refund to offset the additional cost of the insurance., The total cost of the insurance I have is $160 a month but I only pay $81.00. Have you heard of anyone else going through this

  14. My boss wants to reimburse me for the health insurance costs. I have gone to and submitted the costs to him and he wants me to pay and he will reimburse. Wouldn’t this be considered income and be taxable to me?

    • Kim,
      As long as your employer has a Section 105 plan in place, the premium reimbursement will be deductible to him and not taxable to you.

      Setting up and maintaining any benefit plan can be complex and he may want to consult with his accountant or payroll service for the requirements.

      Mary Ellen

      • can therealkim still get premium tax credits from ACA?
        sounds like that would be too good of a deal?
        employer writes it off, not income to employee, and employee can get tax credit for health care premiums??

  15. I posted a question on 3/10/14 but I do not see mine and any questions here after 2/28/14. Please advise when the answer will be available. Thank you

  16. I am unemployed and cannot afford health insurance. If i am put onto my parents taxes, Will my penalty of not having health insurance come out of their income?

  17. We claim my parents as dependents, they are 73 & 76, green card holders ( not citizens), no income at all or Medicaid. I am unemployed now and cannot afford to buy insurance for both of them and cannot push my husband to buy insurance for my pants ( he already supports them and me now, since I am not receiving unemployment benefits). I am covered by my husband’s company insurance. Will we get fine if parents do not have coverage? Is there any subsidy for them in our case? What if we will not claim them as dependents in 2015- any penalties for them for not to be insured? They have NO income! What is the solution???

    • If they are claimed on your tax return as dependents, you are required to see that they have insurance or pay the penalty.
      The penalty for each uninsured individual will be $95 or 1% of income, whichever is greater.
      In determining if they qualify for a subsidy, they will have to use your husband’s income.
      If they are not your dependents, they may qualify for assistance in obtaining insurance.

      For additional answers to your specific health insurance questions, please visit

      Mary Ellen

  18. Can me and my husband file our taxes separately for 2013 or should it be filed jointly? Obamacare needs married couples to file jointly to receive the benefits. Does it include 2013 tax return ?

    • Megan,

      You can file jointly or separately, whichever is the right filing status for your personal situation. When it comes time to determine if you or your husband are entitled to a subsidy for health insurance premiums, you will need to use your household income, which will include both of your incomes, even if you choose to file separate returns.

      For additional answers to your specific health insurance questions, please visit

      Mary Ellen

    • As Mary Ellen indicates, whichever way you and your husband file, you will be using your household income as long as you are married. Divorced and co-habitating, neither you nor your ex would have a spouse and so filing separately, you each would use your individual incomes. As long as you are under the 400% of the Fed Poverty Line, the latter course is the way to maximize your subsidies.

  19. My employer recorded the amount we put into our healthcare savings account (HSA) on my W-2. They’ve never done that before. It used to only be reported but not as income. Now it is code W. It’s pre-tax dollars but now it’s being taxed. What changed in the way that my HSA is reported to the government?

    • Jeff,

      According to IRS Pub 969, “An HSA may receive contributions from an eligible individual or any other person, including an employer or a family member, on behalf of an eligible individual. Contributions, other than employer contributions, are deductible on the eligible individual’s return whether or not the individual itemizes deductions. Employer contributions are not included in income. Distributions from an HSA that are used to pay qualified medical expenses are not taxed.”

      Even though you are seeing the amount of the contribution on your W-2, that does not mean it is being included in your taxable income. The amount is used to determine the amount of deduction you can receive for HSA contributions you make on your own behalf. It should be entered on Form 8889, Part 1, Line 9. TurboTax will take care of that for you.

      For additional answers to your specific health insurance questions, please visit

      Mary Ellen

  20. Reading several comments here, contrary to my belief, it seems that a married couple, that always filed as “Married Filing Jointly”, cant simply choose to file federal tax returns as “Married Filing Separately” starting from 2014 — just so that a low earning spouse can get maximum/or greater tax credits for health insurance premiums thru the new marketplace system. is that true ? Expert advice on this will be sincerely appreciated. Thanks. Specifically, retired husband, who has Medicare coverage, has 60,000 in income from social security, interest & mainly from IRA draw downs/distributions. Wife who has no health insurance coverage at present, has a small variable business income & interest income in her name — both collectively totalling say about $ 12,000. If wife files her tax returns separately, she can get the maximum/or much larger tax subsidy for health insurance coverage. Is that permissible ? Or for subsidy determination purposes the joint incomes of husband & wife will/must be considered in lieu of just the wife’s income since she filed as a single person ? Thanks agin for the wisdom.

    • Jeeti,

      For purposes of the subsidy for health care, your household income is used. That will be the income of you and your spouse, even if you use the Married, filing separately status when you file your return.
      For additional answers to your specific health insurance questions, please visit

      Thank you,

      Mary Ellen

    • With you on Medicare, your wife with your combined household income (as Mary Ellen has explained) would put you two over the 400% of the Fed Poverty Line and so allow your wife zero subsidy to pay for health insurance through your exchange. In applying, she would be obliged to use your combined household income because you are her “spouse.” Now, if you divorced and there was no longer a spousal relationship, she could apply on her own. But with only about $12K in income, she would be assigned to Medicaid. Now, Medicare is gradually becoming Medicaid Plus, and so the both of you could find yourselves in the same doctor’s office with essentially the same “healthcare” going forward. But if that is not desired, then after a divorce, you would need to get some of your income-producing assets into her name to raise her income above the 133% of the Fed Poverty Line so that she could get a subsidy to bring down the high cost of a healthcare plan better than Medicaid.

  21. My son who will turn 19 mid march will lose insurance under my husband 3/31/14. He will not be claimed on our tax return for 2014 because he is not a full time student. Husbands employer wont allow us to pick him up on COBRA with the rest of the family when we start COBRA 4/1/14. He would have to purchase his own COBRA plan at the same price they are charging us (approx 16K for the year). I applied on marketplace for him and put he was filing his own return and couldnt be claimed as a dependent. It then asked if he lived with parents and other brother/sisters then proceeded to ask all the income for everyone. He is not working right now so he has no income. The results came back he was eligible to purchase through marketplace but was not eligible for subsidies. Total family income is below 50K. My question, should he have applied on his own or should i have applied and asked for coverage under my application? I’ve called the marketplace and they said they can’t give me how the income numbers were run just what the results are. Does anyone have any suggestions for this scenario or have similar situation? Why should he have to include our income if he isn’t our dependent?

  22. Hi, I’m so confused, I can’t find a straight up answer to whether or not I will get my refund without being covered yet. I can’t afford to start paying for healthcare WITHOUT my refund, so it’s a catch22. So, without healthcare, I should be expecting my refund in my bank account soon still, correct? I have been tracking my refund for over a week, over half the people who filed on my same day have received theirs, and now there isn’t an option to track it which leads me to believe I should be receiving it, yet it’s not in my bank account right now, but there’s still a button for “get coverage.” Is choosing a healthplan required before receiving my refund. I’ll pay the fine if I have to, I just need my refund! Thank you.

    • Matt,

      There is no penalty to be paid for 2013. It starts with 2014. The IRS states that 90% of all refunds were received within 21 days last year, and they expect the same results this year. Your refund should be deposited to your bank account within about 3 weeks of filing your tax return.

      You need to be covered by March 31 of 2014 to avoid any penalties when you file your tax return in 2015.

      For additional answers to your specific health insurance questions, please visit

      Mary Ellen

  23. What is the penalty for not having insurance in the following case. 2 Adults and 3 Kids.

    Only Husband has insurance (thru company)
    Wife and kids does not (company provides but declined)
    Only Husband earns – 80k

    A friend said only penalty is $95 for wife. As per my reading, it is 1% of family income or $95 per adult plus 50% for kids whichever is greater.

    Here since wife does not have income does it matter.

    So the final penalty is 800 or 237.5 (95+47.5+47.5+47.5) ?

    • Just make sure you have no refund due when filing next year. The Unaffordable Uncaring Act provides no legal recourse for the IRS to collect any penalty from you except by withholding any refunds due.

    • Joseph,
      Your penalty could be as much as $2,000. 1% of 80K for spouse and .5% of 80K for each child, a total of 2.5% of your income.

      The insurance credits are based on the household income, not just the income of the uncovered individual.

      Mary Ellen

    • Now that the White House has effectively killed the individual mandate, just claim an unaffordability or hardship exemption and forget the penalties.

  24. In the year 2013, I got health insurance through my job, and they stated they will give health insurance to the dependent (spouse) but it was delayed finally she covered in the month of Jan 2014.
    She had DNC (dilation and curettage.) due to miscarriage in the year 2013, the medical expenses around $15000 were paid by myself as she did not have insurance. Our Household income is $60,000. Are these Medical expenses Tax deductible? What will my penalty be (now she has Insurance)?

    Thanks in advance

    • Hi Chetan,

      The expenses you paid for your wife’s DNC are deductible medical expenses. You should include them in your itemized deductions.

      You should not have any penalties for not having insurance for you wife in 2013. The requirement started in 2014.

      For additional answers to your specific health insurance questions, please visit

      Mary Ellen

  25. I think that I am in a catch 22 situation. My wife and I have an income slightly above $50k but our MAGI will come in around -$500,000 carried forward from my past business losses. Does this mean that although I can apply though the market place I will not get a tax credit? It is a truly ridiculous situation as I can not afford $1100 per month that was quoted. Only other option that I can see is to get a divorce that way at least my wife will be covered. Thanks

    • These are presumably non-passive losses, and the carry forward and recognition provisions of the IRS Code may give you little leeway with the result you indicate for your 2013 MAGI. The divorce option, such that you and your wife could file separately, is one way to improve your situation. Staying married, with a negative MAGI, you both would presumably be placed within the Medicaid system. Divorced, with your wife declaring enough of the $50K income to get her above the 133% of Fed poverty line, she could presumably qualify for a subsidized health insurance plan, leaving you to find out how wonderful Medicaid is. Good luck to us all.

  26. I had health insurance all the way up until the end of January 2014. I am getting estimates on new health insurance but don’t currently have any. If I do my taxes now, without having any health insurance, will there be a penalty or will it affect my refund?

    • Hi Dustin,

      There is no penalty calculation with your 2013 taxes.

      For 2014, you have the possibility of penalties if you are without insurance for more than three months of the year. That penalty will be calculated when you file your 2014 taxes in 2015.

      For additional answers to your specific health insurance questions, please visit

      Mary Ellen

  27. My question is for this year in filing your 2013 taxes, will you receive a credit for having insurance with your refund because I heard you would, but I did not see that on my taxes when I filed? Then, how is the government going to find out who has insurance and does not in order to penalize them?

    • Charay,

      There are no insurance premium credits for 2013. They will be in the 2014 tax filings.

      Insurance companies will be reporting who they covered to the IRS for assessing the penalties and calculating credits.

      Mary Ellen

      • I’ve had a pricey individual insur. policy for past few years (in CA) but am about to complete an ACA app. today. However I have yet to file my 2013 taxes but will next week – just after the ACA 3/31 deadline. When the online CoveredCA app asks if I filed taxes “last year” 1) does this mean 2013? Or do they mean ’12? 2) And since the technical answer is “no, but I will by 4/15″ how should this be answered on the form before 3/31?

        Related question: I’m checking with a parent tomorrow, but I MAY have been claimed as a “dependent” in 2012 (no earned income, thus no tax return filed) – but will be filing in 2013 (though income was on the lower end). Given these last 2 years of varying tax status, will this in any way affect my eligibility for a Silver Enhanced (subsidized) plan?

        My thinking on the above is that the application is asking me if I filed taxes in 2013 (my intention is to say “yes” and get them within the week after the ACA deadline) AND my hope is that the past “dependent” status won’t affect my subsidy eligibility since I’m filing a 2013 tax return (and since by most “am I eligible” calculators I seem to qualify for some subsidy based on income).

        Am I right re: these 2 assumptions? Any considerations I should . . . consider . . . as I finish my app with these issues on my mind?

        Much obliged – I’d just like to be accurate while finishing the app.

  28. What is wrong with ur website for filing? I got finished doing my taxes and now it wont let me get past choosing a healthcare plan! Very angry!!!! No more turbotax for me.

  29. Are the insurance premiums that I pay monthly (via payroll deduction) totally at my expense eligible for a deduction on schedule A under medical? My employer does not cover any of this cost at all.

    • Debbie,

      Insurance premiums you pay through a payroll deduction are eligible for deduction on Schedule A, provided they are not part of a pre-tax benefit plan.

      Mary Ellen

  30. I qualify for a large subsidy since my income is not that high and I am 62. A recent letter to our local paper suggested that we will have to declare our ACA subsidy as income when filling out our 2014 tax forms next year. This would add 30% to 40% to our annual income and would double (at least) taxes owed. Is this true?

    • Tom,
      You will not have to declare your subsidy as income when you file your taxes. You will need to reconcile your actual 2014 income with the amount of projected income you reported when you signed up for your insurance. If your actual income is substantially higher than your projected income, you could have to repay part or all of the subsidy you received.

      For additional answers to your specific health insurance questions, please visit

      Mary Ellen

  31. I make less than 18000 a year and purchased insurance through obamacare. I file an ez form and get a refund every year. Will I no longer be receiving a refund. And also, my employer wants to reimburse me for my premiums that are about 70 a month. Any reason why I shouldn’t do this?

  32. Much of this discussion seems predicated on entering the government website to apply. But just yesterday there was further testimony that lacks any reasonable security against hackers. So while you would be a fool to enter your personal information on this website, what other options are there to apply for health insurance on one of the exchanges (State, where the subsidies are eligible OK, and Federal, where the subsidies are … wait and see) ??

    • My understanding is that THE ONLY WAY you can qualify for and get a subsidy or tax credit at the end of the year is if you purchase your insurance through the exchange. You can call them and deal with a person that will help you which is what I did because I wanted to eliminate the possibility of hacking my personal computer. When you do this — you need to give them your SS#. Not too thrilling but..pretty standard for insurance purposes. Since the functionality isn’t working at this time, they actually have you deal with the insurance company from that point on. In other words, you go through the market to pick your insurance company, they let you know if you are ‘entitled’ to a subsidy which you can take OR wait until the end of the year and reconcile via your 1040 to get credit. If you have any questions about your income passing muster, that would be the way to go. However, unless you go through the market place and get a ‘marketplace number’ you won’t get the subsidy at the end of the year. I just did this and I’m in NC. Once they were able to get my account set up, I called BCBS (took 2 days for them to get the information) and paid them directly. The insurance companies will bill you directly going forward as well. Short of the long, Yes the site IS vulnerable but there’s no medical information involved and….what you do give them is really out there anyway, I guess you have to have a little faith — and when I say that, I don’t mean in the government!

      • Thanks, Karen, for your detailed account. Given all that has been reported about the hack-ability of the gov’t website and gov’t information databases in general, you are a brave woman ! The “marketplace number” is an interesting new piece of info. I am wondering if TurboTax knows about this ?

      • Actually, I found out from them that it’s really not ‘their’ reference number — it’s Blue’s Cross Blue Shield’s…maybe it’s their new id for me

      • Also..I’m not really ‘brave’ — I was stressing out so much about this and really need insurance. I thought about taking advantage and skipping a few months to save money but..with my luck..I thought it wasn’t worth it. I thought I had it all figured out — was going to go around the market place, buy outside reconcile at year end. Once I found out that wasn’t an option…I wasn’t really left with any alternative. I may or may not be able to qualify for credit at the end of the year but if I do, I’m probably going to need it. Who couldn’t use a tax credit? In any case, once I finally got it out of the way, I felt better — it’s out of my hands and I’m going to let the chip’s fall and hope for the best. I have a lot of faith — and NOT in the government!

      • Good morning, Karen,

        I wish you all the luck for this year ! Returning to the “marketplace number,” if this number is Blue Shield’s id for you, what did you get from talking with the exchange to verify that you had gone through the exchange to be eligible for the subsidy ? Or did BCBS, after you talked with them,then inquire about you with the exchange personnel ?

      • When I called the marketplace and finally got someone who was really able to help me — he saw that my premium was high and wanted to see if he could get it down…I told him not to waste his time. Based upon the 2012 return and even last years earnings, I wouldn’t qualify. But I do expect a change in circumstance as far as income goes and I have no clue what my income will be. With that said, he just proceeded to get me entered into the marketplace under the policy I picked and told me I needed to call them back (even if I don’t want to take the subsidy at the time) when/if I have a change in circumstance. Once I was done with him and my application was complete — he gave me an application number and the customer service number to BCBS to make payment. I’m assuming the reason you need to call in the case of a change would be 1) if you are actually receiving a subsidy now and your situation improves thus you no longer qualify or 2) your situation deteriorates (which will be me) and for budgetary purposes (ha ha) they want to be aware. He also said, that in that case, I might qualify for cost sharing saving (something like that) — ie even though I may have a $3500 deductible now and a 30/70 cost share — I could get my deductible, copay and co share lowered — THAT money would not have to be paid back and would not be reflected on the 1040. However, someone is paying for that…
        Best wishes to for the New Year too Bruce!

  33. So it seems that one way to deal with the problem of our income exceeding the 400% of poverty level (with the resultant loss of our entire subsidy) is to file separately instead of jointly. Will the IRS ask to see our divorce papers since we have been filing jointly for years ? And does TurboTax make it easy to do a what-if analysis of this ?

    • I will be interested to see if Mary Ellen can provide you with an easy way to do this analysis within one tax return. My guess is you will have to do at least two or three separate tax returns and then compare the results TurboTax produces.

    • I’m not a turbo tax person and I don’t even want to know if you are actually going to get divorce over this but…that’s always a possibility on an audit and then…will you be able to provide them? again, I don’t really want to know.
      I also think Bruce was correct and that the only way you’ll be able to figure it out is to run separate returns — I’ve done that before and just name them different things. You can always open up a saved return and before changing any of the information to run another scenario, save it as something else and make changes to it so you don’t have to re-enter ALL the information again.
      With regard to the ‘divorce’ thing…depending upon where you live and their laws, I think some states allow you to file separately if you are legally separated — i.e if there are children involved, one could file as head of house maybe the other single? Although some states require a filed agreement, some states recognize an agreement drawn up between the parties and notarized — I believe the federal government recognizes state law…something to consider and/or look into — cheaper than divorce I would think….
      I think I’d rather spend the legal fees on a discrimination case than on a divorce over this!

      • Thanks, Karen, for your input and I understand. It will be interesting to see if Mary Ellen of TurboTax has any further clarifying info. The “divorce thing” seems to be one avenue that this law left open to manage the subsidy nullification effect of making just a little too much money in a year. So we might as well understand the requirements, though I can see why a lot of people would just dismiss it out of hand.

      • I hear you but…could you imagine if everyone got divorced over this! Then of course once everyone went through the expense, they’d just figure out a way to nail you for being single. Sort of like the benefits of having an electric car and solar panels. Now that people have gotten on board, they want to tax them as well. They want to tax you for using the sun to generate your own electricity! I suspect, they’ll figure out a way around this a lot quicker than the solar panels and electric cars! too many people impacted.
        also…for some reason I don’t think ‘Turbo Tax’ is going to weigh in on the filing as divorced thing…at least I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one. We’ll see.

    • Well, Karen, Reno could be a happening place going forward ! ;-) But I just ran some numbers for my family on the subsidy calculator, and if we filed separately and applied separately for health insurance, with me taking 2/3 of our joint income and our little one, and my husband taking 1/3 of joint income, net of the subsidies we each would then get, we would for a Silver Plan pay just a little more than HALF of what we would have to pay if we apply jointly which gets us NO subsidy. And that is several thousand dollars PER YEAR to be saved by divorcing. I would agree that it would be far better to fire the idiot politicians who put this law on the books and then wipe the books clean of it. But it looks like the ACA makes divorce a serious financial consideration. As for TurboTax weighing in, as you say, we’ll see.

      • No sign that TurboTax is going to reply, and I think I am with Karen … don’t hold your breath! But the marriage penalty has been known for some time. Here is an interesting quote from Mark Duggan, a health economist at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School:

        “The ACA, like the tax code, is complicated, and it sometimes provides a marriage subsidy and a penalty. Will it encourage some weird stuff like some people getting divorced? Yeah,” Duggan said. “That was the challenge of this thing. Where do you draw the line?”

        So you may be right about Reno !

  34. I am self employed, my spouse is W-2 employee. We file married, jointly. His employer offers him insurance at about $100 a month. (I suppose it will go up now with the health care reform) His employer also offers family insurance but the rate is an additional $500 a month. So I opt to stay on my own private insurance for about the same price. Can I deduct my insurance premiums on my business return (I make a profit) or can I only deduct co-pays. Or neither? This question is for both 2013 and 2014.

    • Or- as another option can I deduct my premiums from our joint return instead of my schedule C? Which is better?

  35. I just went to the site and it says: “ObamaCare gives states and the federal government the option of charging insurance companies a 3.5% fee, on the cost of the premium, to sell insurance on the exchange. States also have the option of using grants and other forms of assistance from the federal government; however, states that refuse setting up a state run exchange will not get the subsides, therefore their constituents will purchase insurance at what will most likely be a higher rate.”
    With all that said, I’m from a state that did not set up their own exchange – most states did not. If I read this correctly, it is stating that the subsidies won’t be available to those states. So…am I reading it correctly and if so, is that true — are most of us just spinning our wheels worrying about this credit and/or subsidy because we won’t get it anyway?
    The site is definitely a liberal bias site because it more or less slams the GOP for fighting this law but…it is suppose to contain the FACTS. Again, are we all entitled to the subsidy if we meet the financial guidelines or not?

    • Hi Karen,

      What you have is a federal-run state marketplace, and you can still qualify for the subsidies if you purchase your insurance through your marketplace.

      Mary Ellen

      • OK — Thanks. So basically what you are saying is that the obamacare facts site is politically fueled – not fact fueled. As long as you enroll through the marketplace and qualify financially, you are entitled to a subsidiary regardless of what your state government opted to do. Correct?

      • Karen,

        Yes, if you purchase insurance through the marketplace and qualify financially, you can get the subsidy. It does not matter if your state runs their marketplace or the federal government runs it.

        Mary Ellen

      • Is there any way to block out Bruce and Karen’s constant blogging of their mutual “chicken-little” love affair?

      • Now, now, Craig, you wouldn’t want TurboTax to sink to Obama silencing tactics, would you ?

    • Caveat emptor when viewing any FACTS or fact-checking website, as they have no less political bias than any other. Mary Ellen’s response to you below may or may not be true. Just taking the language of the ACA, as it was written, it provides that tax credits are available for months in which an individual is enrolled in a qualified health plan “through an Exchange established by the State under 1311” of the ACA. There is no explicit recognition of the eligibility of the premium tax credits (subsidies) for an individual acquiring insurance through a Federal exchange. Now, yesterday, a Federal judge in the liberal D.C. Circuit ruled that it surely was the intent of the law to include everyone in this eligibility whether applying to a State or Federal exchange. This ruling is now under appeal, and there are several similar legal challenges in other jurisdictions. So we will have to wait and see whether the power of certain judicial interpretation and imperial edict from the Executive Branch and its agencies trumps the the law as it was written by the Congress. The Unaffordable Uncaring Act is one big mess to be sure, but we do live in interesting times, n’est-ce pas !

      • I know we all have our own political preferences either way…However, it ceases to amaze me how Washington (both parties) continually appear to have their heads stuck in the sand as if the rest of the country out side of that belt way is a virtual experience and not the REAL world. Politicians shouldn’t be allowed to play Russian roulette with our lives for political gain or interest like that… particularly our healthcare. We should know what we can expect and exactly what it is going to cost. The rest of us can’t operate like DC does. Thank GOD most of us don’t!

  36. If my spouse has healthcare through his employer and it can also cover me, but is too expensive, will I still get a tax credt when I purchase healthcare through the marketplace?

  37. I don’t understand why that would be my fault and she also told me ro call someone to make sure they’re taking enough this year but I don’t know who to call.

  38. I made arou $ 14,000 last year and when I went to file my taxes the lady said I owe money because they didn’t take out enough from my checks in the federal. I’m a single person and I really don’t understand that because how was I suppose to kno where they should be taken more money from. All I see is that they were takin largw amounts from my checks every pay day.

  39. I have health insurance through my employer which is a cafeteria plan so it is not taxed and my daughter is also on my plan. The premium is taken out of my check but then my ex-husband pays me for the premium. Can he deduct that on his taxes?

      • Thanks, Mary Ellen. I have heard that income verification for receiving a subsidy has been delayed until 2015. Is this correct ? If so, it would seem to invite fraud this year since if the IRS somehow finds that an applicant has a higher income than he/she reported, it can only re-claim the amount of the subsidy fraudulently received from his or her tax refund. And if you use TurboTax wisely as a planning tool, you should not have a refund for them to snatch.

      • Could you look at my question about documentation requirements for filing separately above – January 16, 2014 at 4:38 pm

        Thanks and good weekend !

      • Why is it that the subsidies offered for a household (say 2 adults and 2 children) are so much greater if the adults are divorced and apply separately (each with one of the children) than if they are married and apply jointly as a family ?

      • CathyH, there was an interesting article in the Seattle Times about a Washington state couple who are on the flip side of the marriage problem you have asked about. They were unmarried, and each had low income which meant having to enter Medicaid. Not wanting to do that, they got married, and their then joint income was enough to avoid Medicaid and get a big subsidy on their exchange for OBummercare insurance. So both the exchanging and shredding of nuptial vows is a tool to consider under the “Unaffordable Uncaring Act” !

      • Good morning, Craig,
        By “shredding of nuptial vows” I meant divorce. In other words, the way this obamidable law was written, one’s marital status can have a very significant impact on what health insurance the government will allow you to have and at what price net of any subsidies.

      • you said quote”They were unmarried, and each had low income which meant having to enter Medicaid. Not wanting to do that, they got married, and their then joint income was enough ”
        You are such a defeatist and right-winger. The exact problem in this country. You believe mostly hear-say and never fully research anything in depth to support your old-fashioned live in the past views. Please do not respond to me, I have to deal with unread knuckleheads like you on a daily basis.

      • The knuckle, dear Craig, would seem to be in your head. You can read the Seattle Times piece for yourself and you can perform the same analysis using the TurboTax, Kaiser Foundation or other subsidy calculators. The results are the results.

    • Cathy,
      Verifying income is part of the Premium tax credit calculation that will be part of your 2014 tax return filed in 2015. The premium tax credit can be assessed and collected regardless of the refund on your tax return. It is only the penalty for not being covered that can only be recovered from your tax refund.

      Please read more here
      Also visit for more answers to your specific health care questions.

      Mary Ellen

  40. I have been using the TurboTax subsidy calculator to explore what somebody told me was a dramatic breakpoint after hearing the following on CNBC: a family of three in New York earning $78,120 will pay $7,421 in premiums for a mid-level “silver” health plan, after taking their subsidy into account. But if they make just one extra dollar, they’ll have to fork out $12,784 for insurance — an increase of $5,363. Unless people are very careful, they could experience a huge hike in their marginal tax rates !

    • The ACA is largely a giant case of fraud, and so it would only be poetic justice if people played the system for all it is worth this year (presuming it lasts that long.) Another aspect to consider would be that if you are married, you might consider a divorce as the combined subsidy level of you and you spouse (then ex) would be appreciably larger than the subsidy you could get as a married couple. It’s just how this “law” was written !

      • So, the government (as represented by the politicians who passed this law in 2009) wants to inflict a big penalty on me for making more than 400% of the poverty level and for being married. And what country is this ?!!!!!!!

    • RB,

      Anyone under the age of 27 can be covered by their parent’s plan. Your spouse or children cannot be covered on their plan.

      Mary Ellen

  41. If I am under 26 married and filing my own taxes can i get onto the family plan of my parents through obamacare?

  42. I have been looking at the subsidies using the TurboTax subsidy calculator, and there seems to be a huge breakpoint. I heard, for example, recently on CNBC that a family of three in New York earning about $78,000 will pay $7,421 in premiums for a mid-level “silver” health plan, after taking their subsidy into account. But if they make just one extra dollar, their premiums will rise to $12,784 for insurance — an increase of $5,363 — because they will have lost any subsidy at all. Can’t imagine what the implicit marginal tax rate is around these subsidy breakpoint levels !

    • Rudy,

      You do not have to be a dependent on your parents’ tax return to be covered by their health insurance, as long as you are under the age of 27.

      Mary Ellen

      • Mary Ellen,
        I just spoke with someone off the federal healthcare website and they said the only way my wife (who is 22) will be covered is if she files her taxes with her parents and is listed as a dependent. From what you are saying, is this not true?

  43. I’m self employed and my income varies year to year. I’m on the cusp of being eligible for a subsidy, however if I make a little LESS it says I can’t get the subsidy. So, what happens if I apply using higher income criteria, get insurance through the marketplace and accept the subsidy, but then something happens (catastrophic illness?) and my income is below the threshold for qualifying for the subsidy? Will I have to pay that money back because I am too poor?

    • Kristina,

      If you receive a subsidy, you will need to calculate the actual premium tax credit when you file your 2014 tax return. If you received more credit than you are entitled to, you will need to repay it (with limits). If you received less, you will receive the credit on your return. It will increase your refund, or decrease your tax due.

      Mary Ellen

      • You probably thought I’m at the upper levels of income. That part is perfectly understandable, but what if income goes too LOW? People under the poverty level are NOT eligible for a subsidy. Will they really be required to pay subsidies back when income is so low? Or will the standard repayment caps apply requiring a partial repayment?

    • We are in the same style boat (self-employed with income varying year to year), though from what you say your boat may be smaller than mine. You are worried about remaining above the 133% of the Federal poverty level (FPL) threshold, and I am worried about remaining below the 400% of the FPL threshold. First to your worry, I would think that if you are close to the 133% of FPL, you would want to over-estimate your 2014 income for the simple reason that if you report a lower level, you will be shunted into Medicaid which from most reports is the poorest quality healthcare in the country. Even though the healthcare networks available through the insurance company plans on the exchanges are often not very great, still they have to be better than what you would face in Medicaid. Then in 2015, when you file your tax return and do the reconciliation, if you find your 2014 income less than the 133% FPL, then as Mary Ellen says, you could be responsible for repaying at least some of the subsidies you received depending on your numbers (for households with income less than 200% FPL, the repayment is capped at $600/$300 individual.) Unlike the penalties for not having insurance, for which the IRS has no recourse against you except if you have a tax refund due, the IRS may have some legal teeth in any clawback of excess subsidies. So put aside that much money and stay out of Medicaid !

      My boat may be bigger, but I risk losing much more if my income steps over the 400% FPL line. Because then there is no cap, I would lose all of the subsidy and have to repay it all. And I would have to make a boatload more income to make up the loss of the subsidy and to pay the higher income taxes to get back to where I was after-tax at 400% FPL.

      • Thanks Cathy. Ironically, I would settle for Medicaid, but I don’t qualify for that either. My state opted out of the expansion. I can live with having to pay back just $300 of the subsidy, but how stupid is it that I will have to spend more because I earn too little. I feel for you position as well. You would think they would do a better job of phasing things out. After all, that would make calculations even more complicated and it always seems like that’s what the like – turning something simple into something complex.

  44. If you live in a state that has opted out and are not required to go on the federal exchange, does that mean you will not be taxed if you opt out and do not get health care?

    • Roberta,

      If your state does not have its own exchange, you should use the federal exchange for health coverage if you are not covered by a personal or employer plan, or by Medicare or Medicaid.

      You must be covered by some plan in order to avoid the penalty.

      Mary Ellen

      • As for the penalty, ignoring for the moment the implications of the court challenges to the administrative interpretation by the DHS/IRS, avoiding it will also mean managing ones withheld or estimated taxes more carefully so that one is not left with a refund position at year’s end. Only then can the IRS pick your pocket via this penalty. Otherwise, they have under the law no recourse against you.

      • Bruce
        I heard on one of the political news channels that if you owe the penalty and the IRS can’t retrieve it from the tax refund, they will mail you a bill. If you don’t pay it by their “due date”, they will charge interest for every month it’s not paid. They have thought of everything to hurt you one way or the other.

      • Good afternoon, Cindie,

        What you say I believe is correct. But as long as you avoid having a refund due at the end of each year, they can exercise their calculators ’til the cows come home, and the law gives them no power to collect from you. But you are also right in that the government (in particular this Executive Branch and its agencies) will do everything they can to make your life worse.

  45. Will the payments that I make to Medicare now be a paid tax on 2015 income tax rather than a medical deduction?

  46. I only made $10,000 last year but I still want to file for my income tax. Does this mean that I still have to purchase a health insurance plan?

  47. While the White House is keeping under raps the demographic composition of those who have supposedly signed up for OBummercare, the evidence from the state exchanges which have been reporting some of their data suggests that the pool of young applicants is well below the percentage targets. It remains to be seen whether the resulting death spiral will beat out the various court challenges to the Unaffordable Uncaring Act (aka ACA) before the November election.

  48. It looks like we have found someone who really believes that “if you like your plan (doctor), you can keep your plan (doctor) … period” ! The Unaffordable Uncaring Act “fixes” nothing, as it essentially confuses and conflates two important elements of this world – insurance and welfare – destroying the private market for the former while attempting to boost the latter. The notion that “insurance companies can no longer drop you or jack your rates up on your individual policy for insurance that you buy through the exchanges” lacks only the word “period” at the end to punctuate this childish fantasy. No insurance company is bound by law or police/military force to remain a party to any exchange. And the insurance company bail-out provision in the Unaffordable Uncaring Act only goes so far without Congressional action (fat chance !) But even if the government could enslave the insurance companies, holding them on the gov’t plantation to do its bidding, there are all those “real crappy doctors” and hospitals which have and will opt out of OBummercare. And while we can say to ourselves that they never really cared about helping people anyway and good riddance, the pool of the “insured” will balloon and the pool of caregivers will shrink. And more and more people will find out that having health insurance is not quite the same as having access to health care.

  49. IMy husband & I both work. We both have our separate insurance companies and our employers pay a portion of our Primary insurance premiums & we have the remaining portion of premium due deducted from our checks every payroll. I itemize & would like to know if I could claim the total premiums deducted from our paychecks as a Medical Expense.

    • Rosetta,
      If your employers reduce your taxable income through a Section 125 benefit plan, you cannot deduct the premiums you pay. Most employers utilize these plans so your taxable income is already reduced by the premium.

      If your employer does not have a Section 125 benefit plan, then you can claim a medical deduction for the premiums you pay.

      Mary Ellen

    • Just to add to Mary Ellen’s answer, provided you can deduct the premiums, the medical deduction threshold has been increased by the Unaffordable Uncaring Act from 7.5% to 10% of AGI. So your premiums plus other medical expenses will have to be that much higher to enable you to itemize anything. But with the premiums being double and triple for many people whose insurance was canceled, that may not be a problem. Now wasn’t that nice of the Unaffordable Uncaring Act to make that so !

  50. I had planned to purchase my insurance directly from BCBS and avoid the govt market place. I’m not sure what my income for the year will be and I had PLANNED not to take a subsidy and if it turns out I’d be entitled,have it reconciled via my 1040 at the beginning of next year. HOWEVER, I just spoke to a Farm Bureau sales person that sells BCBS and he said that if you want a subsidy either directly applied to your premium as you go OR reconciled at the end of the year via a 1040 THE ONLY way you can get it is if you purchase your insurance via the govt the market place. He said BCBS policies can be purchased through the market place and if you think you might be entiltled to a subsidy, that’s they only way you will get VIA your 1040 in 2015. Is that right? i.e. People that purchase insurance outside of the market place and then wind up earning less money than expected won’t be able to have subsidies applied to their premiums for 2014 in 2015 if they didn’t go through the market place to purchase their insurance?

    • It is even more complicated than what you have been told. “Subsidies are only to be made available, and tax penalties for not signing up for health insurance are only to be assessed, in states that create their own health-care exchange.” (Wall Street Journal piece) This is what the Unaffordable Uncaring Act actually says. Now the White House, through the IRS, is trying to make this apply to all the states. But various court challenges to that sort of unconstitutional re-writing of the law will probably succeed and could collapse this whole nonsense (we hope!) But for now, it depends on which state you live in. Good luck to America !

      • I actually live in NC and if I’m not mistaken, NC did not set up their own exchange they allowed the feds to doit for them. and again, I was told by a NC broker the only way you can get the credit is if you go through the government market place — IE they are attempting to force people into the system. However, if BCBS and the like offer the same polices outside of the market and the pricing is the same….then I think that is unfair ESPECIALLY since the government can not and will not guarantee safety in using the site!
        If the IRS can calculate the credit on a tax return for people in who purchased through the market place, then they can calculate for people outside the market place as well.

      • You are correct that the lack of security and disregard for it on the part of those executing the Unaffordable Uncaring Act is disturbing and a scandal unto itself. The “subsidies” as you again rightly point out could be calculated in the same way for people wherever they live and through whatever source they buy their health insurance. But the Act (the current law) is very specific. And only those people who source their insurance through the appropriate exchange (which many states do not have) are eligible to get these “subsidies.” We can hope that the Unaffordable Uncaring Act will die a natural death this year. In the meantime, good luck to us all.

      • Although I do think something needed to be done about health care costs, (ACTUALLY INSURANCE COSTS – Insurance companies are such a scam, you purchase for protection and if you actually need it, they drop you or jack your rates up!) I never agreed with this bill… how can you agree to terms you didn’t read???? As a result HEALTHCARE has not improved, in fact quite the opposite! What they should have done was gone to a direct payer instead of one payer — get rid of the insurance companies…let us pay the doctors etc. I don’t know, maybe that’s not the answer. For the time being, it is what it is and even if this bill dies over the coming year the damage has been done. Too many changes have been implemented over the past 4 years, doctors left, and no one is going to turn around and lower their rates. Healthcare as we knew it is gone. You can’t turn back the clock.

      • It seems ironic to me that you complain about this: “Insurance companies are such a scam, you purchase for protection and if you actually need it, they drop you or jack your rates up!)” and yet you seem unaware that this is one of the things the ACA FIXED – insurance companies can no longer drop you or jack your rates up on your individual policy for insurance that you buy through the exchanges. Coverage is mandated issued to anyone at the group rates contracted by the govt through the exchanges. And they cannot drop you when you get sick or for a pre-existing condition. They cannot set an annual or lifetime maximum on your benefits. These was some of the major flaws in the old system that the ACA set out to correct – and did.
        I understand that health care and insurance is a very frustrating topic/situation, I just wish people would take a little more effort to understand what they’re complaining about.

      • If you take what I said out of context, yes it would appear Ironic. However, I did preface that statement by saying “Although I do think something needed to be done about health care costs, (ACTUALLY INSURANCE COSTS…
        And you are correct, that is the one thing they did fix….Insurance companies must take you and can’t kick you off. However the actual cost of this has not yet been addressed ( we WILL see a huge jump after the 2014 elections) and in the process they actually destroyed the actual HEALTH CARE system. An insurance agent — or more to the point, an IRS agent isn’t qualified to make medical determinations…

      • Actually the health care system was destroying itself which is why the new law was needed. I am glad it forces congress to pay for health insurance. And I am glad that I can keep my kids on my insurance until they are 26 giving them enough time to get into a stable job with good benefits after college. As for doctors quitting? That’s their problem as a great percentage of them were only doing it for the money anyways and it’s obvious that the quitters never truly cared about helping people. Then again, there are some real crappy doctors out there whom somehow lost all logic of their field and just say a bunch of garbage and prescribe a bunch of bull ’cause they know nothing.

      • You are again right that not just something but much needs to be done about the cost of health care and health care insurance. For the former, the need for tort reform to bring down the huge cost of medical liability insurance for doctors/hospitals, and for the latter, the need to repeal the insane prohibition of selling health insurance across state lines (to name two of the more significant somethings that need to be done) have been/are in legislation passed by the House in recent years but still lie under Harry Reid’s derriere in the Senate at the command of King Hussein in the White House. Only when these political clowns are gone will it be possible to bring about some common sense reforms to address cost in this sector of the economy.

      • One would have thought that ‘change’ would have occurred in 2012…
        Hopefully, now that a CLEAR majority seems unhappy maybe 2014 and 2016 will bring better results and new residents to Washington. Let’s just hope it’s not too late and in the mean time, not too many undeserving people get hurt as a result of all this.

      • You have my sympathies here. It is more than just a shame that the country must experience this level of policy disaster before it develops a “CLEAR majority” (and I say this as an Independent deeply embarassed that so many Independents hadn’t figured this out by 2012.) Though there is little way to erase the cost to this country of what these politicians have done, it is never too late to start over and make this world a better place. So, buck up and let Ray Stevens cheer you and all:

  51. Hi, my husband and I make about $55, 000. I make about $20,000. My husband gets coverage from his employer. I and my daughter got insurance through the Obama Care and I am paying $406 per month on premiums. How can I claim this when filing taxes. My daughter and I are in college. Kindly help me understand the procedure.

  52. My husband has private health insurance and his employer writes a check each month to the carrier to cover half of the premium. Will he be taxed for any of this? Does his employer have to add this to his W-2. They are not sure which is why I am checking into it. Thanks!

    • Angie,
      Payment of health insurance premiums is not taxable, even if it is for an individual policy.

      Employers are required to report the amount of health insurance premiums they pay for an individual on their W-2, in box 12, Code DD.

      Mary Ellen

  53. Hi, My husband is self-employed and I am currently unemployed. We want to purchase health insurance through Covered CA, but wonder if it matters whether or not I submit the application as head of household, or should my husband submit it instead (to qualify for the self-employed health insurance tax deduction).

  54. My husband’s employer said he is not allowed to claim any dependents, which would be myself and our son. He has always claimed us on his paycheck. Why is he being told that he cannot do this anymore? hehis employer correct? Is this a new law, as they are suggesting? Also, what ifvwe file taxes at the end of January, but do not buy insurance until February? Will we be penalized in January when we file for not having it at that time?

    • Elizabeth,
      I’m not sure if you are talking about being able to cover dependents and spouse on his health insurance or claim an exemption for income tax withholding. The employer can control health insurance, but the form W-4 controls the tax withholding.

      For the penalty, you are allowed up to three months to be without coverage. So if you are covered by February and remain covered for the remainder of the year, you will not be penalized for not being covered in January.

      Mary Ellen

  55. I qualify for a $171 Subsidy and am responsible for $94 a month. Am I able to write the amount I’m responsible for since I’m paying it post tax when I file in 2015?

    • Michelle,

      If you pay out of pocket for coverage, co-pays, etc, the costs can be included in your medical expenses for a tax deduction. You will need to meet the other requirements for itemizing deductions, such as medical expenses exceeded 10% of your income (7.5% if you or your spouse are 65 or older), and enough total deductions to exceed the standard deduction for your filing status.

      Mary Ellen

  56. Marketplace told me I would be eligible for $195 per month subsidy, and I would be paying an additional $43 per month for insurance.Will this mean I will owe money at tax time?

    • Hi Chelsea,
      No, it doesn’t mean you will owe. Your eligibility and amount of subsidy is based on your household income and size. The only way someone may owe is if their actual income ends up being higher than the income that the Marketplace was given when they calculated your subsidy. This will all be reconciled when you file your 2014 taxes in 2015.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  57. Under my former employer if I had 30 years of service and was at least 50 years of age, I would be offered retiree’s health insurance when I turned 55. I will be 55 in August. If I decide to take the health care coverage through my former employer will the premiums I pay be tax deductible?

    • Cathy,
      The premiums you pay for health coverage will be a medical deduction. Whether you will benefit from the deduction depends on if your total deductible medical expenses exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income and your total itemized deductions exceed your standard deduction.

      Mary Ellen

  58. I’m married, but my wife and I file taxes separately. My income is pure SSI and amounts to less than $17,000 a year. However my wife is allowed to carry me on her insurance which means I’m covered. The IRS because of my earnings do not require me to file a return, but can get a $8,000 tax credit if I drop the insurance. Does this tax credit get directly paid to the Insurance Company I pick, or do I have to pay the premium myself and try to get the credit back from the government ?

  59. i qualified for a large subsidy. when I spoke with someone through the Marketplace she told me that with this I wont receive any sort of return with my 2015 filing. I don’t think I like this. can someone please explain whats going on?

    • Hi Erin,
      If you normally receive a tax refund, and your tax situation doesn’t change, you will still receive that refund.

      The subsidy you qualify for can be used throughout the year to pay your insurance premiums, or, you can opt to pay the full premium and get an additional refund of the subsidy amount when your file your taxes in 2015. That is the refund the person from the Marketplace was talking about, not your usual refund.

      • still wondering about the tax hit next year? I fthe subsidies amount is added to you gross income???

  60. Hi I’m running into a dilemma with the Affordable Healthcare application…if I understand correctly it seems like the application is based off of our 2012 returns…
    I have in the past (2012 included) claimed my mother as a dependent on my tax return but now no longer meet the requirements to claim her, so she won’t be filed as a dependent in the 2013 tax year.
    She currently doesn’t have any health coverage and won’t be eligible for any assistance if claimed as a dependent (per our 2012 return). Is there any way I can use our 2013 information to apply for AHC instead of having to refer way back to 2012 when our situation was a lot different (and disadvantageous to her receiving aids for health insurance)?
    I was wondering if she can just go ahead and apply for AHC assuming her new (unclaimed) status in 2013? OR must I apply for AHC for her as my dependent using our old 2012 information? (And also, is this still the case even AFTER I already filed my 2013 return?)


    • Hi Bravo,
      If you are covered by an employer’s policy (even if it is your spouse’s employer), you don’t need to worry about acquiring more insurance. The insurance companies are supposed to be reporting who they cover, probably by social security number.
      Mary Ellen

  62. Really confused on this tax credit. we normally get back 4ooo each year from our taxes. will the obamacare plan affect this?

    • The ACA will not impact your refund directly. If you are covered by a medical insurance plan through the marketplace for your state, you may qualify for a tax credit, or a subsidy to pay your premiums. If you underestimate your 2014 income, and receive a higher subsidy than you are actually entitled to, you will be required to repay some or all of the overage. If you are not covered for more than three months of the year, you will be subject to a penalty, and your refund may be reduced to pay the penalty.

  63. I have heard conflicting reports. If I get 1300 per month in subsidies, lets say ,is that added to my taxable yearly income. If so,won’t I owe about 4,680.00 in taxes using 30% as a rate?

    • Gnarlyone,

      Subsidies will not be added to taxable income. If you underestimate your income, and claim more subsidy than is allowed for you, you will have to repay the excess, up to a limit which varies by income and filing status.

  64. My wife and I qualify for the healthcare premium subsidy and have obtained insurance using the subsidy thru We are eligible for Medicare in August and September 2014. What happens to the subsidy after the first one goes on Medicare. Also, when filing our 2014 tax return and the subsidy becomes a tax credit is it pro-rated for the months prior to Medicare? If so, how is it calculate?

  65. My employer offers health insurance but it’s expensive and I can do better if I buy a plan outside of my employer. Question, plan from my employer is paid for before taxes, how does it work if I buy my own insurance outside of my employer. Do I pay for with after tax money?

    • Through your social security. Any money you ever make that can be documented, will be taken from your bank account and yes it is legal. They settled this issue in a federal court case in the past.

    • Hi Jim,
      Penalties for not having insurance will be calculated when you file your 2014 income tax return in 2015. The penalty is per person not covered, a minimum of $95 or 1% of your income if that amount is greater.

      Mary Ellen

      • Penalties for not signing up for OBummercare can be collected by the IRS only if you have a refund due on your tax return, in which case the IRS will reduce your refund by the amount of the penalty they calculate for you. Obviously, OBummercare makes over-paying ones taxes an even more ill-advised course.

      • The $95 or 1% is per year, but it will be calculated on a monthly basis, or 1/12th per month.

      • Actually, the penalty this year is not 1% of income but rather 1% of income over a base figure ($10K for singles, $20K filing jointly.) But as has been noted, the IRS can only collect this penalty from you forcefully by grabbing any refund you might be due on your return. It was noted recently: ‘ Justice Roberts in his argument stated quite plainly that there is no “penalty”. On Page 8 of Justice Roberts Opinon of the Court Cite 567 U.S. (2012) he states “The Act, however, bars the IRS from using several of its normal enforcement tools, such as criminal prosecutions and levies. 5000A(g)(2)” ‘

    • As for the penalty, ignoring for the moment the implications of the court challenges to the administrative interpretation by the DHS/IRS, avoiding it will also mean managing ones withheld or estimated taxes more carefully so that one is not left with a refund position at year’s end. Only then can the IRS pick your pocket via this penalty. Otherwise, they have under the law no recourse against you.

      • Jim,

        The penalty will be calculated on your 2014 tax return you file in 2015.

        Mary Ellen

  66. Mom is handleing finding insurance for my grown kids that. I do all accounting and taxes and budgets they work long hours so please send to personal labeled in mom name twila hayward and she will calk to check our quoteS she has our information. Thanks

  67. I care full time for my aged mother and so am supported by her income and am her tax dependent. I applied as a “family” for insurance just for me, but I did not qualify for tax credit because I am a dependent. If my mother applies for insurance just for me, will she then be eligible for the tax credit? I find the rules confusing. Any thoughts on this situation would be appreciated.

    • John,

      The credits are dependent upon household income and family size. In your case, the household income is your mother’s income and the household size is two. Your mother is responsible for applying for insurance for the two of you, although she may not need insurance if she has coverage through other sources, such as employer, retirement or medicare.

      Mary Ellen

  68. Is household income how you will file or who you can claim regardless if you claim them for 2013 or not? I want to opt-out and pay the penalty but want my wife covered by the exchange, both of us work and her job does not offer health coverage, Can and should we file separately to use her income alone for her coverage alone to maximize the tax credit for her coverage? Thanks in advance!

    • William,

      Your filing status does not impact household income. You must combine your income for determining the possible credits even if you file separate tax returns. You will also be responsible for insurance for any dependents on your tax return.

      Mary Ellen

  69. If an employer offers coverage to employee and dependent children, but not the spouse, will the spouse qualify for a tax credit when buying through the exchange?

    • Kathy,

      Household income and family size will determine the size of any tax credits you may qualify for.

      Mary Ellen

  70. I expect to be laid off early next year — January/February and plan to purchase Insurance. I have no idea what my income for next year will be in 2014. If I don’t have a ‘subsidy’ applied to my premiums on a monthly basis; CAN I collect them via my 2014 tax return? If they base the subsidy on 2013 or 2012 income, I wouldn’t be eligible, but I don’t expect my income to be anywhere near that high on 2014. I’d prefer to pay the premium, not owe anyone any money and get any credit due at the end. IS THAT possible or doesn’t anyone know? I’m sure I won’t be the only one that goes from high earner to low or zero as a result of layoff.

    • Karen-
      I had the same question and yahoo finance’s section directed me to where deep in they explained essentially yes to your question.

      When one files their 2014 tax return you will be reconciling any advance credits you may have taken throughout the year (taking zero as you go is an option) against what your actual 2014 magi when filing dictates you qualifiy for.

      When signing up for a plan we’ll be estimating our upcoming 2014 magi to get estimated potential credit. The site says we will be able to choose to receive the estimated monthly credit in full each month or a portion of it in case we’re not confident of our estimated 2014 magi and do not want to “owe back” any money when reconcile at tax filing time.

      Hope that helps, I had same unease at projecting modified adjusted gross income for the coming year.

      Disclaimer: I’m not a tax professional but this is what I found on the website in deep. Unfortunately, I’m traveling and not good at pasting in links etc. on tiny screen so use my words at own discretion.

      • Thank you! After further consideration I more or less realized they are actually giving us an ADVANCE on anything we might be getting back as a result of having to pay better than 10% of our income toward medical.
        Think I’ll wait and get the refund…

  71. My husband is self-employed and I won’t have a job until August 2014. We won’t have insurance until then too. If we chose to not have insurance until Aug 2014, will we still be penalized?

    • Tiffany,

      You can be penalized for the months of April, May, June and July. You are not required to have insurance until April 1.

      Mary Ellen

    • As for the penalty, ignoring for the moment the implications of the court challenges to the administrative interpretation by the DHS/IRS, avoiding it will also mean managing ones withheld or estimated taxes more carefully so that one is not left with a refund position at year’s end. Only then can the IRS pick your pocket via this penalty. Otherwise, they have under the law no recourse against you.

  72. If I have itemized on my tax return in the past and have claimed medical premiums with a private insurance company, will that remain the same for deduction on my taxes?

    • Linda,

      Medical insurance premiums you pay will continue to be deductible. If you purchase insurance through the exchange and receive a subsidy, you will need to reduce your deduction by the amount of the subsidy.

      Mary Ellen

  73. I am retired and am on social security and medicare. My wife, who is retired but not yet eligible for medicare, had her own health insurance with anthem blue cross but her policy is no longer available because of Obamacare. She qualifies for a tax credit subsidy but we have a very low tax burden.
    How can we take advantage of the tax credit if we pay little or no tax?

    • Hi,
      You can take the tax credit to help you pay for your insurance in 2014, before you file your 2014 taxes in 2015. The tax credit can be applied to your monthly premiums.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

      • Yes but, CAN you take the tax credit ON the 2014 tax return rather than take it as a subsidy? If you do not apply a subsidy that you may be entitled to during the plan year CAN you get it via your tax refund at the end of the year? Again, if you don’t know what your annual income will be…and I know mine will be different in 2014 than it was in 2012 and 2013 — I assume far less. OR don’t you know?

      • Hi,

        Yes, you can opt not to apply any subsidy and get it as a credit on your 2014 tax return. It will be a refundable credit, like a tax payment, even if you do not have a tax liability.

        Mary Ellen

    • Daddyomommyo: I have the same question as you, How can we take advantage of the tax credit if we pay no taxes when we file? Or more specifically, do we have to pay back the credit if we used it to decrease our monthly insurance premiums, because there are no taxes owed to subtract it from on our tax return??? And I don’t see any other letter answering our question. Please can TurboTaxLisa or some other knowledgable person speak to this??

  74. If you have health insurance you are all set. You don’t have to do anything. I just got notice my policy is being cancelled and I found out over 4 million others are getting the same notice. Thanks for the accurate info Lisa.

  75. Would it be operationally accurate to say some people’s income taxes can go up 100% as a result of the ACA?

    For purposes of my question, income tax is defined as the amount the ACA could cost someone out of their income.


      • The penalty is $95 OR 1% of your income above the minimum tax threshold, whichever is higher. The penalty could be many hundreds of dollars (even thousands, if you’re a highly compensated individual).

    • Defined in this way, sure. Premiums with higher deductibles for many people are double to triple what they were paying. As for the penalty, ignoring for the moment the implications of the court challenges to the administrative interpretation by the DHS/IRS, avoiding it will also mean managing ones withheld or estimated taxes more carefully so that one is not left with a refund position at year’s end. Only then can the IRS pick your pocket via this penalty. Otherwise, they have under the law no recourse against you.

  76. “If you like your current plan…………………..”

    UPDATE your information, or you’ll be accused of working for the Chief Executive’s propaganda branch.

  77. Veterans already signed up for VA Healthcare do not have to sign up for Obama Care….VA meets the minimum requirements.

  78. Ha Ha, Veteran, got letter from VA…I don’t have to sign up for the crappy Obamacare…I already have crappy Government medical coverage.

  79. I’m glad there;s some intelligence in this debate, unfortunately its not in this article. You will be taxed on your health coverage, just not yet. So saying you won’t be taxed is a lie by omission.

  80. Hello,
    Nice blog. Your article gives such an useful information about health insurance.Thanks for sharing.

  81. Ok so after determining that my employer’s coverage isn’t “affordable” I can now purchase from the marketplace or thru an insurance co., I already know I don’t qualify for assistance for that so my question is, if I don’t itemize will there be something to fill out for the premiums I directly because right now premiums come out of my paycheck and are pretaxed lowering my taxable income. Please advise.

    • Hi Sonia,
      Yes, if you itemize your tax deductions, you can deduct medical expenses including premiums paid over 10% of your AGI (7.5% if over 65).
      So for example, if you made $50,000, you can deduct your medical expenses over $5,000 ($50,000 x 10%).

      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  82. About all this helpful turbotax blog has done for me, is convince me that I probably ought to fine another way to do my taxes.

  83. Maybe some of you will start seeing the light. OBAMA LIED TO US!!! You will not be able to keep your current insurance because THE EGOMANIC HAS DECIDED HE KNOWS WHAT IS BEST FOR YOU!! Your rates are going up as well as your deductables. The only ones making out on this program are all the freeloaders out there.

    • It’s not the president’s fault that doctors and insurance companies are idiots. All those people care about is filling their pockets, so of course they want to screw people over out of greed.

      • I kept my insurance, Blue cross anthem!

        My rates went down as did my dedutibles.

        So I guess you are wrong, again!

      • It’s like car insurance. People have been expected to buy it for decades. It has a purpose, to save you a lot of money in Dr. bills and etc.. I really don’t understand what’s so hard to comprehend. I guess you people who are against having health insurance must love being in debt.

  84. You can go to an dget information on plans, etc. You just can’t enroll because the website is still jacked up but it does have information available.

  85. I find this blog very helpful, but I do wish the admin would filter out all the political posturing. This is not the place for that. Go rant elsewhere, leave this blog for those seeking information about the current tax laws, rather than those who want to continue debating their validity.

  86. My husband and I are both self employed with highly variable income and 3 kids. sometimes we may qualify for subsidies, while other times we may not. If we do not ask for a subsidy to purchase the insurance, and earnings end up falling below the threshold, can we take a credit for that difference when filing our tax returns?

    • Tamar,

      When you purchase insurance from the exchange, you will be given the option on how much of the subsidy to apply. If you don’t apply any of the subsidy, it will become a refundable credit on your 2014 tax return.

      Mary Ellen

  87. If i deny insurance from my work, will I still be penalized, or taxed at the end of the year? I will be getting insurance else where.

  88. My oldest son needs insurance. He can’t even get on the website. It keeps crashing. So he will be penalized ? Even though its not his fault? And he can’t even afford groceries. How us he suppose to pay for insurance?

    • Kim,
      Insurance is not required until April 1.

      If his income is low, he will qualify for subsidies to pay for his insurance, and possibly his medical expenses.

      Mary Ellen

  89. We buy our insurance through my wife’s employer because it is cheaper than my employers insurance. My boss has to pay $800 a year per person fine for every employee that does not buy his insurance. He is going to take that out of my check. And it goes to $1600 per year in 2015, and higher every year. Can I deduct this from my taxes or am I just screwed by Obamacare?

    • How much are you saving each year by being under your wife’s employer’s insurance? Is the savings more than what your boss will charge you? If not, then might be a good idea to stay on your employer’s insurance…

    • Is that LEGAL? I don’t think so but nothing would surprise me these days. However, I can’t believe there is a deduction on your paycheck for employer tax penalty…
      I thought the idea behind having an EMPLOYER pay the penalty was to convince him to provide insurance. Many employers are opting to pay the penalty because it is cheaper for THEM than it would be to provide insurance.
      I can’t believe they can legally force you to pay THEIR penalty via your wages. Both of you will still be responsible for SS and medicare taxes on that $800 and you will still be paying both state and federal income tax on that money as well.
      On the other hand I do think they could DECREASE your salary by $800 per year to offset his cost. This would make more sense for BOTH employer and employee. In that case, you would both be saving on SS and medicare taxes and you wouldn’t be paying the federal and state taxes either.

      • Companies and businesses do not care who they screw over. All they care about is their bankroll while all of us hard working citizens struggle to succeed in this chaotic world.

      • I hear you on that one but..after further thought, I don’t understand why this guy would be penalized anyway…he’s opting out HAS INSURANCE. Why would there be a penalty? If someone has insurance elsewhere why would an employer be penalized?
        I’m not going to worry about this stuff — just going to get my insurance without a subsidy, hope to write it off on my taxes and PRAY, PRAY, PRAY for Divine intervention! I’ve given up on Congressional intervention!

      • The employer will not be fined if the employee “opts out” of his insurance plan. The only way the employer gets “fined” is if the employee files for the subsidy which is not the case here (the wife’s insurance is less expensive, but not is not through an exchange, and is not eligible for the subsidy. This gentleman needs to contact his State Insurance commissioner, the State Wage and Hour Board and a good attorney!

  90. I make about $50,000 a year for a family of 5. I have insurance through my work for myself currently, however to get if for my family (even the cheapest plan) is about $1,000 a month, or $12,000 a year. That’s 24% of my income. Can I still apply for “Obamacare” even though I’m currently on my school’s insurance since I’m above the 9.5% rule? If so that means I’ve got 2 insurances at the same time. Is that a problem? Is there any way to cancel my insurance with the school I work at. The insurance policies are for 1 year but I don’t know with the new tax reform if that allows you to cancel with your current employer. Thanks.

  91. Me and my husband can’t afford the insurance he gets through work. If he drops the insurance(which he is able in december)can we look into the health insurance marketplace and still get the subsidy or i have to absolutely go with my husband’s one. If we don’t have any insurance how much our penalty will be if our income is 37,000 a year?

  92. All of you people complaining need to actually read how this is going to help people. Why was it ok when bush wanted to do the same thing and the dems voted it down. Do some research before you go bitching. and some of you need to learn to spell

    • Lisa not as long as we have Perry in office or any Rep or Tea Party for that matter..Most of us are screwed..

  93. I didn’t understand the tax credit my yearly income says I can put $248 monthly tax credit toward my health insurance to lower my monthly payment for insurance ..but I have never got that much back on fed tax refund. That’s about $3000.00. Does that mean we will get a larger tax return to help pay for health insurance??

  94. Hey Turbo Tax, how much did Obama pay you to make this awfully misleading video? Misleading in the sense that it puts a positive spin on obamacare.

    • Thanks Mike for calling out for responsibility and integrity…woefully lacking to all of America’s peril and demise…The media and all Obama’s “pups” have cost us our very freedom and yet they continue right on worshipping at his pagan altar. NO TurboTaxLisa NobamaDon’tCare. We pay more and get less and you go right on marching in lockstep with the socialit deceiver-in-chief.

      • Oh my gods! People, our freedoms were at risk for decades. Stop putting the blame on the current president. We’d still be in a spiraling mess even if Romney was in charge.

      • Sheep, are you suggesting that we were right to be upset and dissatisfied with previous people messing us over but we should not be complaining when this Obama idiot piles on and starts shoving garbage down our throat too? Garbage is garbage, no matter who the originator.

      • I’m just suggesting that you people need to get your heads screwed on right.

  95. Thank you Turbo Tax for putting out straight talk on the Health Care law. The people complaining are the ones the rest of us are paying for now since they do not have health insurance and then they go to the Emergency Room and don’t pay. We / I end up paying for them. They want something for nothing. The whole concept of auto or health insurance is that everyone puts in their share and most of the time they don’t need it but ….. when we do, the whole group helps pay. Grow up and pay your way.

    • Who r u kidding? Have u looked at the exemption qualifications? Those people still won’t end up having to pay! One of the exemptions even says you may be exempt if you have a disconnect notice lol

      • I had to go read the link to believe it. I blew coffee out my nose.
        Who wrote this stuff ??

      • I’ll have to say I tend to agree with you. My 24 yr old daughter and her husband do have coverage through his work. It’s very expensive and they are young and just starting out, but they have a baby and NEED insurance so they are being responsible and he looked until he found a job that offered insurance. It is a huge chunk out of his paycheck. They don’t get to go out to eat much, or buy clothes or nice vehicles or drink beer or have nice cell phones. They, instead, have insurance. That is what responsible grownups do. He chose the job that offered it. Because they have insurance, they are gonna be broke for a while. But they are not asking anyone else to pay their way!!! That’s the way they were raised!!

    • some of us don’t make enough ,when I could afford coverage I was happy to get I am not able to pay for it now,it will pull from food or rent,or which would you tell me to go with out.i have looked at my options with the new health care,there are none I can afford.

      • Geez, I don’t see how people can’t grasp the concept that having insurance is A LOT CHEAPER than paying a fat Dr. and/or E.R. bill.

      • Not really. Actually the real truth of you deadbeats. Probably slacked through school too. Now time to pay the piper!

      • Ignorant? It’s the freaking truth. What’s ignorant is people enjoying their free ride while the rest of us have to cover your rear ends as we try to cover our own.

    • Jim, your comment is really uncalled for and untruthful to a lot! I work very hard for what little I have and have no insurance offered at where I work! I have never been to an emergency room for care in my life! I do not, like a lot of others have health insurance because it takes everything I make to pay bills and cannot afford it! How nice for you that you can afford insurance! You need to know what you are talking about before you condemn other hard working people! If you think this health care law is for the best for everyone, you need to check your facts!

      • Sounds like you better pull a 2nd job or find another job that is better and offers good benefits. It’s not that damn hard. As for not going to the ER, there’s always a first time for everything and when you get that huge ass bill, you’ll be wishing you had insurance.

      • Allergic to sleep: there are many parts to the equation for people – work-family balance is one that is very important to many people. Paying the necessary bills for existance comes first, however, if the parent is not home because of always working, who then raises the children with ethics, personal integrity, & how to be a generally decent person? HMMM? I suppose your children are modelf of society?

      • Yeah, I pay my bills for existence first and so forth. Life might be tough, but it isn’t that complicated. People need to stop making excuses and get their life straightened out.

        As for my children, I’m raising them to not be like their mother (whom is living off the government, otherwise known as the hard working tax payers money) and people like you whiners whom can’t seem to grasp logic, common sense, and intelligence.

      • Sorry – dyslexia – My name should read — Dislikewolfinsheepclothing

      • Allergic to Sheep, you are a self righteous troll! You have done nothing but judge everyone down the line here. You need to get another job ( been there, done that too long!) maybe you wouldn’t have so much time judging other people! You have to have intelligence to give it! Try getting some first!

      • Your definition of a “judgemental troll” appears to be way off. Don’t get all butt-hurt over the things you can’t comprehend. Your comment appears to be more out of judgment and trolling than mine. I was basically having a conversation over what is sadly the truth and you go all “boo hoo hoo.” It is true that some of my comments were in response to the comments by trolling sheep who don’t really have anything worth saying. They just post their badmouthing on things they have no intelligence or comprehension on.

    • if you ever get laid off or lose your job lets see how you think then jim.becouse I felt the same way you do until it happened to hope you never lose your job jim

  96. I work and make about 30,000 a year, my husband is to sick to work anymore but has been denied SS or SSI I am insured at work but he has no income and I can not afford to cover him. He has 3 terminal illness. am I going to be penalized for his not having insurance even though he has no income? he smokes so his coverage will be through the roof.

      • Exactly. The person smoking the cigs has obviously signed his death warrant by wanting to continue smoking and sadly she is allowing it. It’s kinda like slow suicide. But stop the cigs and she might be able to afford insurance.

      • I have a full time job with benefits. A little over $30k/yr and no debt besides the usual bills. I am thankful for my Pension, 401K, Health Insurance, Vision, Dental, and a wife whom actually works (minimum wage) and helps keep our income straight. I have 2 daughters and 2 cars (which was a $9k loan and was paid off in 9 months). I have $425 rent that includes electric, water, trash, and gas. After paying all my bills (including credit card, car maintenance/insurance, and buying groceries) I still have over $600 in the bank.

        As for “trolling?” Nah, try instead, “..providing logic, common sense, truth, and intelligence…” Get some!

    • I too say, stop the cigs and use that money to pay for insurance. You are correct, I am not a smoker, but I lost relatives because of cancer to the lungs, including my Mom! I too pay my way and am tired of the high cost of medical and auto insurance to make up for those who do not have it.

  97. All complaining is going to get any of you is a promotion. I don’t fully understand most anything that goes on when it comes to healthcare furthermore I don’t think that our law makers and insurance companies know either. I don’t know why I started reading all these comments but it helps me come to the realization that everyone is complaining of first world problems. Sorry that you can vent your frustrations through a smart phone or computer. Live your life pay your taxes and shut up about it. I just realized I am a hypocrite and am venting my frustrations through a smart phone. Just know that most Americans are suffering just like me with quadruple the debt of the amount that I have in my checking account premium cable, air conditioning and a running vehicle. Oh how I suffer.

  98. Thanks Turbo Tax Lisa and several others who mentioned the subsidies for those who complain they “Can’t afford insurance”. BTW it is still private insurance companies, with the needy taken care of with ongoing programs. We do not have “Universal Health Care” available in so many other developed countries!

  99. TurboTaxLisa — Please tell me your employer does not endorse that video. There are less argumentative ways to get more and more accurate information to customers, if you are sincerely interested. Call me.

  100. Re video: Host wrong. She made 4 misstatements followed with a valid question which makes it look like DWS endorses all the statements when she responds to the one question. Didn’t you see that? : Panels will tell you what insurance you can buy. Not. : The “exchanges” are to sell co-op insurance (implicitly run by the govt). Not. : employers will drop employee which forces employees to the exchanges. Not. : Please research before broadcasting misinformation. We need a coherent America.

  101. A previous comment has popped a question in my mind. I have custody of my kids and their mom (my ex-wife of course) is on “disability” while getting all that free government support from SS, foodstamps, and state insurance (TennCare). From what the law has been is that I am the only one who can insure my kids since I have custody while she is on all these state funds that are not costing her a penny while she’s avoiding to pay taxes and she even refuses to pay her responsibility to their medical bills. Does the new law require her to add our kids to her insurance and will they accept?

    • I too have been on disability for the past 6 years, but get no extra subsidies for living or food. I worked all my life and am 65 years old. I paid my share of taxes, so don’t lump all of those on Disability into one category. I can barely get by each month on the little bit I get from SS and my 401K. We need to repeal Obama care and get reasonable help for insurance for those in the lower income bracket. I wish I could work, but totally not possible due to severe back problems and Parkinson’s. If your wife truly has money to help with the medical for your children, then she should be made to do so. Why do the lower income have to pay so much when the people in the White House get paid whether they work or not and get free medical???

      • Yes, but there are people who fake the whole disability thing just to get a free ride and easy money. And ObamaCare is also making it where all those government bastards have to sign up as well as the rest of the country. Get it repealed and congress gets off easy. So I vote no on the repeal.

  102. Hi TT Lisa

    How about folks like us who have moved out of the USA now?
    Although we do visit our kids once a year or so.

    We are not forced to buy this are we?
    Thank You & I still use your product to file

  103. My daughter is 23, does not live with me, and files her own tax return. Currently does not have insurance,may qualify for Medicaid based on her income, only works part time, does not know if she qualifies for insurance from her employer. Would I be forced to add her to my plan thru my employer, which I cannot afford? If she does not get insurance, who pays the penalty, her or me? She is no longer a dependent on my tax return.

  104. I have health insurance, but with the obmadontcare health plan I will no longer be be willing to pay the doubled premium. The tax penalty will be less than the insurance premium. I have carried high deductible health insurance in case of severe illness. Now that the insurance companies cover preexisting conditions, why not just wait and get coverage if I get sick.

  105. I welcome insurance reform I don’t want free insurance just affordable coverage,my husband and I have been tryin to get health insurance for me since 1999 when I was dropped because of having mental health problem now I can’t get health insurance .every time I real of affordable insurance on television r any where else I check its not what they say .they tell me just for myself is 700.00 a month we can’t afford it. I don’t go to the doctor because of the expense. My kids help the best they can but they have there families and my medical and prescription are high if you can tell me a better solution to this I would be interesting in hearing it

  106. I have health insurance through work, but it’s very expensive. I was told there is some tax credit I would be eligible for if the premiums are more than 9%. My insurance premium is about 15% of my gross income. Is this true?

  107. My Question is this. I am a Disabled Vet and my healthcare is covered my the VA, so I’m good. My Wife has coverage through Tricare as she is appointed as my Caregiver through the VA and paid as such. I am not 100% yet so my children arent eligible to be covered under e through Tricare. I am still searching to check vor a company that will cover only my 5 & 7yo without having to pay extra to cover my wife as well. My income is not taxable nor is my wife’s. How does that work than with my children since CHIPS says we have to claim it to them to see if my girls are eligable?

  108. My children are members of a tribe. They have their own healthcare system. Are tribal members exempt from this law because they they have tribal health for one, and their status as a sovereign nation as two? I don’t think technically it is insurance, but they cover all their members health care.

  109. Thank you once again demacrats for taking from the people doing something with their lives to help the ones who aren’t! Good job smh!

    • OBummercare is simply part of the large increase in Middle Class taxes that this White House has long been seeking. The key to survival for the Middle Class until it can be repealed was written about recently. Here is the link and summary of that article:

      Daniel Mitchell, whose expertise in tax matters usually has him writing about tax reform, summarizes this interesting piece as follows quoting from the article:

      The article nonchalantly explains that people may want to reduce their income so they can get more goodies from the government.

      “People whose 2014 income will be a little too high to get subsidized health insurance from Covered California next year should start thinking now about ways to lower it to increase their odds of getting the valuable tax subsidy. “If they can adjust (their income), they should,” says Karen Pollitz, a senior fellow with the Kaiser Family Foundation. “It’s not cheating, it’s allowed.” Under the Affordable Care Act, if your 2014 income is between 138 and 400 percent of poverty level for your household size, you can purchase health insurance on a state-run exchange (such as Covered California) and receive a federal tax subsidy to offset all or part of your premium. …getting below the 400 percent poverty limit could save many thousands of dollars per year. ”

      You may be thinking that this is just a theoretical problem, but the article cites a very real example.

      “To get a subsidy, the couple’s modified adjusted gross income for 2014 income would need to fall below $62,040, which is 400 percent of poverty for a family of two. …Proctor estimates that her 2014 household income will be $64,000, about $2,000 over the limit. If she and her husband could reduce their income to $62,000, they could get a tax subsidy of $1,207 per month to offset the purchase of health care on Covered California. That would reduce the price of a Kaiser Permanente bronze-level plan, similar to the replacement policy she was quoted, to $94 per month from $1,302 per month. Instead of paying more than $15,000 per year, the couple would pay about $1,100.”

      To put it in even simpler terms, this couple has figured out that they can get almost $14,000 of other people’s money by reducing how much they earn by just $2,000.

      That, in a nutshell, is the perfect illustration of the welfare state. It tells people that they can get more by producing less. And the system is based on the theory that there will always be some suckers who work hard to provide the subsidies.

      • The rich? Yeah, which is what this law is supposed to be dealing with as well and why congress members are against it. They don’t want to pay for insurance if we are giving them a free ride. So now that they have to pay, they are pissed and so are the other free riders living off our hard earned money that we pay towards taxes to cover them. Get out of fantasy land and into reality.

    • Wow!, I have read some of the comments. I am insured through my employer. So I don’t have to worry about signing up. But for those of you who are healthy and young and do not have insurance-and feel that you do not need it. Just the one time you are faced with a major illness the rest of us pay dearly. For those you cannot afford insurance and I work with a number who either work to pay for coverage through employers—-or pay a lot for family coverage. For the individual insurance doesn’t seem to be high, but for those with families and dependents. Hopefully the credits and subsidy given will take care of it. Those of you who are complaining that it is destroying the country, it is socialist— Let me ask you this question—–Have you ever been unemployed for a long period of time—-Have you ever had to struggle in life because of those who continue to take advance of those who apply for basic necessities in life? The financial crisis was caused by people and companies looking to get rich off the backs of the working class people. Oh by the way Obamacare would be paid for by the Medical device tax—-but certain politicians don’t wont it. Why because it take money out to the pockets of those who invent, make, buy and sell such equipment. Again, lower and middle class do not get much of a tax break –but the rich and famous. Let all of the complainers get a life and think about others more than yourself–do your research and open your minds. The affordable health care act is for those who do not have insurance and need assistance to do so. I can understand that. Do we have to pay for it—-Well think about those who get turned away and struggle just to find a job to put food on the table and a roof over there heads. I have a college degree from Uof M but my career has been tanked by the financial greed of a few. I sympathize with those who have to struggle to survive everyday. Most of us are not born with reserves of money and wealthy contacts. Time and Chance happens to us all. I hope all of you do not fall on hard times. Just maybe you might show a little sympathy for the not so greedy in life.
      Good job on explaining the health care Law Turbo Tax. You have done your part.
      Have a Good Day!!!!

    • Sure, lets reward those that sit around and do nothing with their lives. Sounds great. Think I’ll sit around and let others reward me too. What a stupid comment Brittani.

  110. This is going to screw up my credit because I will either end up owing a tax penalty getting evicted or getting my car reposed and I make to much to qualify for Medicare or what ever people that live off the rest of is get! If they would have us a heads up on this I prob wouldn’t have bought such an expensive car or apt because I could have budgeted in insurance this is like the seat belt law… Who I am I hurting by not having insurance I am young heAlthy and no kids wtf!

    • Then don’t wear your seat belt and don’t pay for health insurance. When you get into a car accident you will be severely injured, and have no insurance to cover you!!

      • We’ll since I have full coverage I will still have insurance to cover my medical and the last time I wrecked if I would have worn my seat belt it would have sliced my head off. Not much incentive

      • Ashley, thats a terrible way to look at this. Brittani has a legitimate beef and you are an idiot

      • Not really because as I said that is what my car insurance is for it covers up to 50,000 in medical expenses

    • Because the “Health Insurance Marketplace” is so screwed up, for lack of a better expression, and likely to remain so for some time, all that we can do is to investigate what information about plans and pricing there is on websites such as

      From my family data input, the pricing/subsidies which these two websites indicate match fairly closely, in contrast to the current subsidy calculator on the TurboTax website which indicates much larger subsidies.

      You should also read the following article to see how some, if not many, people will be managing this Brave New World.

    • Brittani, sadly you will not be young and healthy forever. I was young and healthy once, now the only way I can get health insurance to cover a chronic medical condition is through Obamacare. I pray that you, at least, will never have to experience the fear and financial hardship of having to pay medical bills without insurance.

    • Quit complaining! I can’t work for medical reasons. I worked my whole life and now am on Disability. You try to live on that! You sound like one of those greedy people who want everything, buy everything and never put any money away for a rainy day. Some day you will wish you had. My generation has paid our share into the government. Maybe you need to stop living beyond your income, and have a little more compassion for those less fortunate!

    • No car insurance covers $50k of medical expenses for yourself or your passengers unless it is Uninsured or Underinsured Bodily injury coverage which is only comes into play if the other vehicle is at fault and they do not have insurance or high enough limits to pay for your or your passengers bodily injury. With healthcare costs, this amount can easily be exhausted. I am an insurance agent and it sounds like you need to speak to yours to clarify what your coverages truly provide. You might be thinking of your bodily injury liability limits but that does not provide coverage for yourself.

      • I do agree with you though Brittani that we should not be forced to buy health insurance. Besides being forced into it, the deductibles are not affordable. We are not being provided healthcare but health insurance which still comes with many unjusts. I also am in the same boat as you with the plans not being affordable and I live a very meager lifestyle but I also have no debt or loans of any kind.

      • So what you are saying is that you still want a free ride. People like you are the reason the country is in turmoil while the rest of us hard workers pay taxes that cover you people’s free rides.

  111. My understanding is that the fine/penalty will only be deducted from my refund and will not be added to any tax already owed. Thus, if I have an amount due exclusive of any fine or penalty for not having health insurance, I will not have to pay the fine or penalty correct?

  112. My husband will be on Medicare in 2014, I will not and I choose to have no insurance. Will my penalty be based on my income or on family income? We will be filing jointly.

  113. All you people are complaining about this obamacare and the country is turning into a socialist country, where the heck were all of you during the election? I voted for Romney because he promised to overturn it. It your own faults for voting for owebama, In 2016 do the right thing.

    • Hopefully the rest of the complainers like myself didn’t vote Obama because u r right if u voted Obama shut up u helped do this to us!

      • The irony is that I was in the hospital at the time and therefore not able to vote. I called to have the county send someone over for patients to vote but they would not so several votes nationwide are missed by hospital patients. I would not have voted for Obama given the chance to vote at all. I do believe the electoral vote needs to go away. It deters many from voting. EVERY vote should count one by one.

    • I voted for Romney also. Can’t seem to find anyone who will admit they voted for Obama. He sure got a lot of votes for no one to have voted for him. I think they are to ashamed to admit they were that stupid.

      • It’s not that they are ashamed its because they know they wont be spending the rest of their life in a concentration camp. So once you are there then you wont have to worry about Obamacare cause you wont be alive long enough to enjoy Once the constitution gets changed to allow for a 3rd term then everyone who didnt vote for him will feel the pressure. New World Order.

    • This is very true. People played into the President’s ploy. I voted for Mitt too, as he is smart business man, who knew this Obama care would obpress the country. We have yet to have a balanced budget. This will take intellegant honest successful who know what it takes to run a business like Mitt Romney who can be trusted to do what is right to create new business, get America back on it’s feet, it won’t happen over night and raising taxes is not the answer. The ways and means committee is a high position that has been played with congressmen who are placed on it to only fail America. Get Rid of the IRS, they have been given to much power to take Americans homes and ruien Americans lives because of penalties and interest an over complicated ever changing tax laws. This is wrong, it’s their Idea of raising taxes on Americans is the big answer to balance a budget, it never has worked. I think anyone who is in the highly position position that effects our nation as a whole should have their motives checked, and do they have the qualifications or just enjoy being in a position of power. Americans deserve better than we have gotten out of elected government. Before anything is done, jobs should have been first before Obama care, getting America back on its feet first. Why wait on this,No one is going to take Obama care serious. We all deserve lower health care costs with no stipulations or punishment attached to it. I’m tired of government stupid decsisions. WE the people don’t need government hurting us any longer. I say if we continue to allow a President to spit on the constitution that needs to go back in place where it was in the beginning, as these men were honest and wanted the best for America.

    • “your fault” you hit it right on the nose. So many people who don’t pay attention to what’s going on until they realize they are living in socialism. History is repeating itself! How do you like the change now? Too late! These are scary times and everyone needs to pay attention to what’s happening to our country.

  114. What about if we have approved coverage we gain through our employer? Our rates have increased and so has my tax bracket this year- somehow my bring home pay is less than before my raise-since increase in premiums. Do I not receive a tax credit? Only those who purchase through the marketplace will be eligible? We are paying more for the other to use market place I would think we would be eligible for this credit also. I understand TurboTax doesn’t make the laws or impact the laws. Just want to know how this tax credit is effecting me

    • Sarah,
      Only those who buy through the exchanges are eligible for the credits. You can see if other members of your household qualify for the credit through the exchange. Because you have coverage through your employer you will not qualify for the credit even if you choose to buy through the exchange.

      Please read more here –
      Also visit - for more answers to your specific health care questions.

      Mary Ellen

    • Hi Terrie,
      Right. Your receive a penalty for not having health insurance by March 31, 2014 in 2014, but the penalty is not assessed until 2015 when you file your 2014 taxes.
      For more answers to your specific health care questions, visit
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

      • No penalty if you have a balance due, only if you have a refund – and it is far less expensive than buying insurance.

      • As for the penalty, ignoring for the moment the implications of the court challenges to the administrative interpretation by the DHS/IRS, avoiding it will also mean managing ones withheld or estimated taxes more carefully so that one is not left with a refund position at year’s end. Only then can the IRS pick your pocket via this penalty. Otherwise, they have under the law no recourse against you.

  115. I have insurance through my employer. My spouse has insurance through her employer. There is a chance that she could lose her insurance in the near future from her employer. What do we do for her? If she tries to get on my insurance the cost will be too high for our budget.

  116. I live in Michigan with my 2 kids and 1 in college not living with me.They are currently on Medicaid but they are threatening taking it away because I wont open a child support action against my husband who now lives and works in California. We are still together and he helps me financially but we file taxes separately. Will I face the same problems with this health care reform act?

  117. Both my husband and I have health insurance through our employers. I am wondering if way are able to “shop” and compare. In other words, If we find that the market place insurance premiums are less than our employers, can we choose that instead?

  118. My daughters-24 and 26- both are enrolled American Indians and they get medical coverage through tribal-do they need to get other health Insurance thru this Obamacare thing and if they don’t will they have to pay a penalty

  119. My husband and I are legally separated. We share custody of our 2 kids, who are currently included on his insurance policy. I have been uninsured due to a pre-existing condition. We each filed as “head of household” last year, and he claimed both kids as dependents.

    I would like to get a policy through the ACA Marketplace. Since the kids live with me (slightly more than) 50% of the time, may I claim them as members of my household, which will qualify me for a subsidy? Or do I need to claim them as dependents to do so? If I need to claim them as dependents, would that be starting in 2013 or 2014? Thank you!

  120. My employer supplies health ins but being low income and paying $90. Per month copau plis med copay is killing me. Can I get help with this?

  121. I’m a teacher, and I have insurance through work. I make about $50,000 a year for a family of 5. I believe I qualify financially for Obamacare, but I don’t understand how it would work since I already have insurance through my work. Do I have an option to cancel my insurance with my work (usually you enroll for a full year)? Can I have my normal insurance and Obamacare? I need to get on before March 31st (I believe), or I’ll lose out on another year. How do I work this.

  122. I do not qualify for Medicaid but my children have it.One of the children was getting SSI he no longer receives it.He does not have insurance.Do I need to get coverage for my self and him? I cannot afford the coverage on the job.

    • You have to have insurance by 2014. If your employer offers you insurance, then you’ll have to sign up with them. You can always try the exchanges, but, because your employer provides the option for you to get health insurance through them, you can not get subsidized if you elect to go through the exchanges. If you can afford neither, then you can elect to pay the pay the penalty (tax) next year, but you’ll still not have health insurance for you or your child. Sorry if this is bad news.

    • Yes EVERYONE has to have Insurance and if you don’t it we get penalized on our taxes, it excludes Medicaid, Medicare and people who already have Insurance.

  123. Nice work, Lisa. I just found your 30 Sep article. You cover information I had to get from about 12 sources before I found your very informative explanation of Obama Care. Thanks – hope you get a pay raise for excellent work you are doing.


    • What happens to my freedom when you go to the emergency room or worse yet, a hospital stay that you can’t afford to pay for? I’ll tell you what happens, I (and everyone else) has to pay more for our healthcare to make-up for you. And that my friend infringes on my freedom.

      • U still r paying for people how can’t afford the insurance check into it that’s what this is all about!

      • JackL

        Well RickE, if your going to bring that stupid line of thinking in then tell the rest of it. Like when somebody breaks the law and gets sent to prison for it I and you with everybody else pays for it ( don’t we all.) How about insurance itself when you send any of your bills in to make a claim everybody pays for it
        ( don’t we all). You Liberal Idiot !!!!

      • As someone directly involved in the healthcare industry, the sad fact is that almost all non-insured or under-insured people in this country did, in fact, receive medical care when needed. Most hospitals provide health care to the indigent because, in many cases, they are faith-based organizations that have a mission to provide the same quality medical care to anyone who comes to them. You are right that, in a sense, everyone who paid insurance had to pay a higher amount for that to happen. So the real travesty is that by the government mandating medical coverage (which will result in almost no significant change in the number of individuals actually receiving medical care), they have added, by one estimate, half a billion dollars in annual costs just for the government jobs created to oversee this massive endeavor going forward – dollars that DO NOT PROVIDE ANY DIRECT MEDICAL CARE – JUST BUREACRACY. A medical insurance broker, who represents every major insurance company in this country, told me that the insurance companies have told him that people who have medical coverage will have their premiums go up by a minimum of 100% to as high as 400%. Everyone, even if they are a single male, will be required to pay for insurance that includes maternity benefits, for example. This is what DavidA meant by losing our freedom. So you, Ricky my friend – I hope you enjoy your freedom as you pay – starting next year – at least double what you were paying before Obamacare.

    • Yes, the enslavement movement has been building for decades. But to correct some sheep, would you rather pay for people who are not really disabled and are just soaking up the free insurance, SS, unemployment, and foodstamps cause they are too lazy to get off their butts and get a job or would you rather help those who are truly in need? It is way cheaper to have insurance so that you don’t have to pay the extra high costs of Dr.s and ERs, but why should we have to pay for people who just make excuses for not getting a job with insurance? That has been much worse than the new law that was passed.

    • that had been abvious since about the 1980’s and yet the people keep electing those who think that govt is the answer to anything when more often than not it is the key to the problem.

    • Enslaved like people in Canada, Australia, Massachusetts, not to mention Americans over 65. Maybe you will be able to get some mental health services.

    • I read in the healthcare reform act that it is $90,000+ for a family of three before no subsidies are applied.

      • Hi Ashley,
        The amount used depends on which years federal poverty guidelines were used.
        Thank you,
        Lisa Greene-Lewis

  124. I’m a senior on Medicare with heavy health care costs. Is it true that out-of- pocket costs will now be deductible only above 10% of my adjusted gross income?

    • Hi Bill,
      Yes, the medical expense deduction threshold has now increased to 10%, so you can deduct your medical expenses over 10% of your adjusted gross income.
      For more answers to your specific health care questions, please visit
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

      • slight amplification:
        In 2013 (i.e. the return filed in 2014) it is still 7.5% for seniors.

      • Hi,
        Are you referring to the medical expense deduction? If so, if you are 65 and over the medical expense deduction threshold is still 7.5%, if you are under 65 the medical expense deduction threshold has increased to 10%.
        Thank you,
        Lisa Greene-Lewis

  125. I used Turbo Tax for years, but last year they failed to deliver my Federal return, i am still waiting for it?….Anyone can help me? Thanks.

  126. Since my wife and I will be paying more in insurance costs per Year ($4500) than what the penalty will be for the year ($1200). Wouldn’t it make sense to drop insurance all together, and pick up an insurance policy after the fact. Considering you can not be denied insurance for a pre-existing condition (Cancer, illness, etc)?

    • There is a difference between a pre-existing condition and a new diagnosis or injury. A pre-existing condition is a known condition. The simple answer is No. The window to enroll is not year round. And the insurance doesn’t have to cover a new injury or diagnosis that you chose to get insurance for just after the fact.

      The whole idea of the Affordable Care Act is that if people only get insurance when they need it and not before that, then only sick people would have insurance. And no one would be able to afford those premiums. Insurance only works when people are pooled together so everyone pays a little so that when someone needs coverage that person doesn’t get slammed with charges. Insurance only works with shared risk.

    • Nope, cause you’d be paying twice (or more) that cost per year with just the Dr. and ER bills alone. But you have a right to find something cheaper……, which is one of the whole points of the new law.

    • That actually makes sense in a horrible sort of way. If you are young and healthy, why not just pay the penalty until such time you find out you are going to start incurring major health bills? Pre-existing conditions will no longer make you ineligible, after all. You could even put an equal amount ($1200) or greater away in a savings acct every year for emergencies and still come out ahead over the new insurance premiums. Is that legal?

      • I’d rather be safe than sorry. And also the law could change in the next decade.

  127. Myself and my 32 yr old disabled son who is on SSI live with my ex husband (who is also his father). When I did his taxes last year he was Head of Household and we were dependents, with the Affordable Health Care Act, it has a question do I want to let him take a tax break or not. Will that mean he would have to buy my insurance even tho we are not married?

    • Hi Laura,

      You ex-husband would not have to pay for your insurance, but if you are a dependent on his tax return, and you do not have insurance, he would have to pay the penalty of $95 or 1% of his income, whichever is greater. His income will be included in your household income for determining if you are eligible for any credits or other benefits for paying for your insurance.
      This will also apply to your son if he does not have insurance.
      For additional answers to your specific health insurance questions, please visit
      Thank you,
      Mary Ellen

  128. My ex is required to cover both our children under his insurance. But according to our divorce decree, he can claim one child on his taxes and I can claim the other. I’m afraid the IRS will be confused and fine me. HELP!

    • Hi Ekatarina,
      The insurance companies will be providing information to each of us (and probably the IRS) about who is covered. As long as the kids are covered, you should not have to worry about penalties.
      For additional answers to your specific health insurance questions, please visit
      Thank you,
      Mary Ellen

  129. Hi, I lost my job after 20 years , along with my health care and retirement. Am I going to have to pay a penalty when I have no income at all ?

      • Here is the problem I also lost my good paying job after 20 years…did not even consider Medicare, food stamps or any other government subsidy. Why, I like to work….went out and obtained another job, make very little money but I take care of me…..cut back on the luxuries

    • Hi Michael,
      You should apply for coverage on the Marketplace for your state. If your income is low, you will qualify for Medicaid or for tax credits to help pay for your coverage.
      For additional answers to your specific health insurance questions, please visit
      Thank you,
      Mary Ellen

  130. What if an employer says he is providing his/her employees insurance, taking it out of their weekly paychecks, and is defaulting on the insurance payments to the point that the employees are receiving cancellation notices. Do the employess get penalized for the employers financial issues if the insurance gets cancelled?

    • Hi Wendy,
      Everyone needs to have medical insurance. If your employer does not provide it and you do not qualify for Medicare, you will need to get coverage. You can apply for coverage on the Marketplace for your state. If you income is low, you will qualify for credits to pay for all or part of your premiums.
      For additional answers to your specific health insurance questions, please visit
      Thank you,
      Mary Ellen

  131. Heaven help us if we don’t stop this steady march to progressiveism/socialism. America will not be recognizable and most will exclaim, “Why didn’t you tell us it was going to be be this way!” The crony capitalists are getting stronger and the middle class is getting crushed. There are only a very few in Washington that are REALLY trying to stop this onslaught. Most are going-along to get along. Most are trying to retain their political power. They bring sticks to a gunfight.

    • When all you have is gross generalizations, exaggerations, and name calling…It’s usually the case that you haven’t bothered to find out the facts and believe the people who are counting on you to make a rash instead of informed decision. There are legit arguments on both sides. Relying on bumper sticker talking points and shock jocks won’t get you there.

  132. I am a veteran enrolled in VA Health Care. My sources of income are VA Disability Pension $568/mo. and SS $1096/mo.. Do I need to purchase health insurance?

  133. I am a small business owner with no employees will this make my insurance any less expensive? and where do I go to purchase insurance?

    • You’re insane if you think it’s not broken. Hospitals and medical facilities are going bankrupt. .. there is no money because of all these self pay people with no insurance I may not agree with the whole policy, but thank god someone’s doing something about it!

  134. Obamacare is a nightmare. Just another way for the government to pick our pockets and tell us what to do. Not what our founding fathers intended.

  135. I checked out my options by using the Kaiser calculator. I am at 97% of the poverty line. I am single, and have my 18 year old son living with me.
    I live in Iowa (they have not expanded medicaid).
    The information I am getting is that I can’t get medicaid, and there would be no subsidy for me because my income is too low. It also shows that I would pay $300.00 per month, with no help. I am just a bit more than confused here. Help!

  136. I would like to do a comparison with the insurance my spouse gets from his employer with what is available on the marketplace. I signed up and have an account now but they still want more information. Is there any way we can find out without having to give so much information????

  137. I have medicare & medi-cal because I am a bi-lateral amputee, however, this Summer I had to travel three different times to visit doctors. The travel was 1300 miles for each trip, I had to pay for rental cars and gas, as well as pay for parking and motel fees. Is this travel expense tax deductible?

  138. Still very confused need some professional guidance in my health issues and income limitations

  139. Until April of 2012, I had a job that paid well. Upon losing that job, I took COBRA medical. To make the COBRA premiums, I cashed in my 401k. Since I was only 53, I paid penalties and had to count the 401k distribution as income. As a result, my income for 2012 (the last time we filed taxes) was $108,000.

    The job I took in June of 2012 was a significant decrease in pay. I lost the job in August of this year, and am now collecting unemployment benefits. With wages and unemployment, I expect to have an income of around $30,000 this year. My wife receives a litter over $1000 per month in social security retirement. This brings our income for 2013 to about $42000.

    Being unemployed, I don’t know what my income will be for next year. Also, my wife has terminal cancer. Of course, we pray that she will live well into next year.. However, when she dies, her social security benefits will stop.

    When signing up for insurance through the exchange, one of the first questions is regarding expected income for 2014. My income could be as low as $20,000 if I don’t find a job and my wife passes soon, or could be in excess of $100,000 if I find a good job. What should I use as a estimated 2014 income when signing up through the exchange?

  140. I own a home and my bills are 3-500 a month more than I make per month or what my income is from the small business I run out of my home, When your in business for yourself you don’t receive a pay check every week, Your held hostage to what sales you make, per month & what money you collect on a 30 day due date. If your lucky your customers pay before the due date. If I’m 300-500 dollars in the hole each month, how in the heck can I afford health Insurance, Medical won’t help or Insure you when you own Your own home or property. Please don’t be a smart ass when the economy was good I had Health Ins. Things are bad So how can I hook up with a Health Insurance plan when the cheapest I found is still 199 per month, if I’m already 500 per month over my bills now, and I don’t think its right to be threaten to pay penalties because you can’t afford health insurance??? I think that’s total B S, how the heck am I going to add another 200 to it? The money tree in back yard is already plucked.

  141. Many companies are discontinuing employee coverage because the cost to them is going way up because of Obama. So just because you currently have insurance through an employee does not mean you are all set. So these folks are being left out in the cold on there own to procure the new expensive polices with extremely high deductibles under the “non-affordable care act” Just one of many incredible problems with this law. God help us all.

  142. I own a home and my bills are 3-500 a month more per month than I make or what my income is from the small business I run out of my home, When your in business for yourself you don’t receive a pay check every week, Your held hostage to what sales you make, per month & what money you collect on a 30 day due date. If your lucky your customers pay before the due date. If I’m 300-500 dollars in the hole each how can I afford health Insurance, Medical won’t help or Insure you when you own property. So how can I hook up with a Health Insurance plan when the cheapest I found is still 199 per month, if I’m already 500 over my bills how the heck am I going to add another 200 to it? The money tree in back yard is already plucked.

  143. I have health insurance but my children don’t. It is too high to put them on mine. I do not have extra month in my budget to pay for health insurance and I have tried applying for Chip and they denied me saying I make to much. I don’t get any help from my kids dads either. So i am going to be forced to do this or I have to pay a penalty? I mean what makes them think I have the money for a penalty when I don’t have the month in my budget for health insurance for my children. If I could afford it my kids would already be on it. In my custody papers my kids fathers are responsible for their medical insurance. So does that mean the fathers will be penalized or me?

  144. Come November 1st, paying the same premium I did in 2012/13, will equate to a 200% increase in my deductible, 200% increase in my Rx deductible, and, get this, 1100% increase in my out-of-pocket exposure. What they failed to tell many of us is “if you get really sick you won’t actually get AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE under this ACT” … they always leave out the really important fine print. I share this here as another means to educate others.

  145. I cover my husband, 24 and 25 year old sons on my health plan. Do they still have to apply for the Affordable Care Health Plan, even though they work full time or can I continue to cover them to age 26 and then they can apply when their cut off my plan?

    • Hi Claressa,
      Yes, if you already are covering them you do not have to purchase health insurance in the Marketplace. Once they turn 26, they will have to purchase insurance.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  146. I qualified for Washington state Apple Health for adults (Medicaid). They wanted only earned income and dividend income and not interest from cd’s to determine if I was eligible. Do you know if income from capital gains on sale of stocks goes toward eligibility? I have gotten both yes and no answers when calling the insurance marketplace.

    • You are blanketing all policies within the same category. You should have advised her to check with certain limitations within her policy to ensure that beyond your stated age limitations her sons may/may not be included in her policy. Depending on how it is written, there are certain policies that allow beyond that age for them to be included with your policy and premiums would be adjusted accordingly. Be careful of blanket statements that one situation covers all. With certain policies older children may still be included within the policy, each situation is different

  147. I do not qualify for any help on getting insurance, ie C.H.I.P.s or Medicaid. ( I do not believe in “free” anything). I do not have the money to pay for the forced health insurance, so now I am going to be fined for it. I hope this changes soon because it is wrong that parts of my paycheck are going to others to get insurance for free while I well be fined for not having the money to afford it. Amazing they think we have a money tree to get this extra money from. Do you fore see any solutions that many of us are going to face? Is it true we well start having our license taken, property tax go up, home foreclosed on, bank accounts with leans on it, etc? Ver worried!

    • We already pay a huge amount for tose people who do not have insurance. This is especially true when they visit the ER with a major illness or injury. Premiums go up and healthcare costs rise. The 80/20 rule will help ensure that what we pay will towards the cost of coverage and not line the Picts of CEO’s. it will protect people from foreclosure when a hospital puts a lien on your home. There are far more benefits to the ACA if you just looks at wat its about. As far as getting something for “free”, you are not. Everyone now pays for insurance.

    • I see this affordable care act/Obama Care, destroying not only may health further than it already is; and turning country in to a socialist country, and I will go as far to say a third world country. I would also confess my fear that Obama is going no where. I believe that he will figure out a way to stay our commander and Chief for life. He. Believes he is royalty already doing what he wishes without consent of the American people. Really what makes you think he will ever step down no matter how many elections we hold. I watch him say the other night on Fox News: “You don’t like the new law, then you run for office. Right, he has successfully bulldozed down the Republican party and brain washed the Democrats, people we are screwed!

      • Well, certainly the ACA is not perfect, but I hope it will be flexible enough to change. As far as Mr. Obama is concerned, I think he is too liberal, yes, but he DID win the election. I don’t see any sign of him making himself dictator. There are some conspiracy theorists who would say so, but I would say….they are very wrong, and are scamming us. I think the Tea Party is absolutely wrong in this debate so far. Thank you for listening.

      • When good people get complacent is when the hammer strikes. Not even thinking we are headed towards socialism is exactly what is wanted. You won’t see it coming until it is too late. You really need to consider all scenarios.

      • Rhonda, the key word for you is “fear”. You are the perfect person to have if you want to influence someone with propaganda. You can “picture” all kinds of crazy things happening. You “believe” all kinds of bad things will happen. But offer nothing to back it up except a misquote by a news station that has been called out on misquoting people many times.
        And, newsflash, you have lived your whole life in a socialist country. In particular, a social democracy. Don’t mix up communism and totalitarianism with socialism. Public schools, public roads, public parks, the Hoover damn, anti-monopoly regulation, electric power grid, Social Security, safety regulation, USDA meat inspections, police and firemen, public sewers, NASA, air traffic controllers, etc. All government controlled socialist ideas.

      • A socialist economic system consists of a system of production and distribution organised to directly satisfy economic demands and human needs, so that goods and services are produced directly for use instead of for private profit driven by the accumulation of capital.

        Sounds like Medicare and Social Security! They provide services for use instead of for private profit. Are you OK with those programs?

    • I’m not totally for the bill, but not totally against it. I believe that it should have been available for those, but no penalty associated with not having the insurance. However, I think everyone need to have health insurance. It’s really a no brainer. I’d much rather have my health, than the newest electronics, Christmas Gifts, A party, A soda, etc… Some of us have our priorities in the wrong place. What happens when you have an emergency go to the hospital and follow-ups with the doctor, specialist, etc… Then I have to foot your bill and mine. FAIR? However, I really don’t mind! Its the Christian Values beset in me and I guess that’s what makes the world go round!! I really can’t afford it, and it just went up for my family and I, from $200 to $250.00/mth (Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana), but there’s programs to help you pay for it like LAhipp. I am presently trying to apply for assistance with premiums. Maybe it would work.. maybe it won’t. Either way… GOD WILL BLESS ALL OF US!!!

    • Hi Lisa, you said you don’t believe in free anything which is understandable but if your paying for it out of your check then it isn’t free…

      • Yes L Williams – you are so right! I have a health fund where I have funds saved to pay for my medical expenses – I have never received free medical care but always carried my own finances in this area. Medical costs are so much less if you are paying out of pocket rather than going thru an insurance plan or a gov medical plan – for what Obamacare wants to charge me for my insurance, I save more than that now for my med needs – other than savinng some of my privacy and not paying into a program I am totally against – what incentive do I have for signing up for this gov controlled program? And I live in a state that has elected NOT to join into the program, so our low wage earners are not able to apply for a medicaid program – and even so, thru our state taxes, we will still be paying for those with no insurance – this ACA does nothing for our state -

    • Interesting that no one answered your comment. I have used Turbo Tax for years. This comment, reply, and the video above, lead me to believe that Turbo Tax, supports this oscamacare act, and that they possibly do not help us get the most money back on our taxes. I did see that they were being sued in a class action law suit. So is this company part of the liberal political movement as well? If not then why is no one answering the questions from the people on here that are saying what a huge problem this un taxed, better coverage, free healthcare plan is?

      • Hi,
        We are answering comments and stating facts about the law only. You are correct we do not comment on any question that requires a biased opinion. That would be “political” and we don’t get into political conversation. Please feel free to continue to ask questions specific to health care and your taxes. You can also find answers to those specific questions at
        Thank you,
        Lisa Greene-Lewis

      • My question wasn’t answered by turbo tax. I asked how will the IRS know if we didn’t get the insurance? I’m still waiting for that answer.

      • Hi Frances,
        Health insurance providers will be providing you proof of your insurance and if you have employer-provided insurance that information will be reported to the IRS as well. This will also be handled on your 2014 taxes when you file in 2015. This is taken directly from the IRS:
        The individual shared responsibility provision goes into effect in 2014. You will not have to account for coverage or exemptions or to make any payments until you file your 2014 federal income tax return in 2015. Information will be made available later about how the income tax return will take account of coverage and exemptions. Insurers will be required to provide everyone that they cover each year with information that will help them demonstrate they had coverage beginning with the 2015 tax year.
        For more answers to you specific health insurance questions, visit
        Thank you,
        Lisa Greene-Lewis

      • How the spin doctors have pressed buttons to make the word “liberal” dirty to some as well “conservative” to others, I know people who I believe would vote for Hitler if he was affiliated with their preferred party. The Office of President has term limits, two terms and that is it your out next election. Does anyone still believe the Ultra Rich Power Players really care what party controls the White House? Or the Congress? Or the Senate? Perhaps the time for law changes in how Congressional Districts are drawn as well as term limits for all elected officials has come..perhaps the way candidates are selected by parties needs to change as each Party is most interested in where their base is to hold on to those seats forever, things have to change for sure, the American people might come together be less divided, I used Turbo Tax for the first time last year, paying them money to submit my tax forms now seems silly, they along with other such companies, make millions from low and middle class Americans, well what is left of the middle class anyway.

    • Seeing as you have no health insurance, have no ability to pay for health insurance, and do not believe in “free anything,” I’m wondering what you would do in the event that you fell and broke a leg. Would you pay the $75,000 hospital bill with a check? Would you refuse treatment and Mcguyver a homemade splint/cast? No. No you would probably go to the ER, accept treatment, and subsequently file bankruptcy. Being as you don’t have the funds necessary to afford insurance, If you did, in fact, try to pay the enormous medical bills, you would probably chip away at about 10% before the debt was passed on to your children. But hey, this is all scare tactic pessimism right? Nothing bad will ever happen to you.

    • Go to you will get a
      Tax credit to pay for your premiums.
      If you make to much to get the credit then
      You should be able to afford. I was surprised
      To see the income levels they go by.A family
      Of 5 can make more than 100 thousan
      To get the credit. I was very pleased with
      My credit

    • Why do you not have the money to afford it? If you don’t make enough then you will get subsidized. Or do you have some extraordinary hardship that takes up all your money? Or are you saying you can’t afford it because you don’t want to?
      You are already paying for people who don’t have insurance. Our tax money covers the people who can’t afford it when they are hospitalized or go to the emergency room. We also pay for it with higher health care costs to make up for what the government doesn’t reimburse for them. The difference now is that someone with a treatable illness is more likely to get it taken care of before (10s of dollars) it is a hospitalization (10s of thousands of dollars). And if someone does go to the hospital, the insurance covers it instead of the tax payer and increased health care costs for everyone else. Not to mention a stronger economy with less missed work and less money diverted to sickness and injury.
      And don’t think of things as “Free”. There is a benefit to society for the things you think of as “free”. All of society benefits when helping people when they are down so they can get back up again. Instead of leaving them down, never to get back up again. If everyone who fell out of the middle class for a while stayed out of the middle class it would disappear over time. And if people who are poor never got help when they needed it, they would have little chance of becoming the middle class.

    • Ok Turbo Tax, let me try this in an un-political way. I work. I pay taxes so others can get health care. I do not have the money to buy health care for my family and now I well be fined. My estimated health care policy would be $350 per month. What do the many people like me do?

      • Because the “Health Insurance Marketplace” is so screwed up, for lack of a better expression, and likely to remain so for some time, all that we can do is to investigate what information about plans and pricing there is on websites such as

        From my family data input, the pricing/subsidies which these two websites indicate match fairly closely, in contrast to the current subsidy calculator on the TurboTax website which indicates much larger subsidies.

        You should also read the following article to see how some, if not many, people will be managing this Brave New World.

      • That would worry me, too. Do you live in a state that did not expand medicaid to cover those who fall in the coverage gap? The ACA does specify that if the cost of the cheapest available (bronze) policy exceeds 8% of your income (I assume that’s your adjusted gross income), then you are exempt and will not be fined. Is the $350 per month with a subsidy or do you not qualify for a subsidy? If you can reduce your adjusted gross income, you can perhaps qualify for a subsidy (or a larger subsidy) to make it more affordable. Contributions to a 401(k) or an IRA as well as student loan interest, tuition, and fees can all decrease your adjusted gross income. There are probably other ways, too, but you’d have to ask someone who knows more. (Turbo Tax, are you listening? ) Unless your family earns a lot of money – more than 400% over the poverty level – you should be able to get some help. For myself, I’ll have to pay about $300 for a Silver plan after my subsidy, but that’s a far cry better than the $700 per month my family was paying before and than the $600 just for me due to a pre-existing condition, so I’m not complaining.

      • Lisa, here’s a neutral website that may help:

        There are several pages of info, so you can explore the whole site. Keep in mind that some states are not allowing the navigators to advertise or otherwise let people know they are available to help (go figure), so you may need to seek them out. Hope this helps and that you can find an affordable policy. Being uninsured is scary.

      • Lisa, your estimated health care policy as you say is $350 per month. Did you actually go beyond that and see whether or not you qualify for a subsidy? Did it actually say you don’t qualify for a subsidy?

  148. I have a family of 4, my children have medicaid but myself and my husband do not. I work less than 24 hrs a week and cannot afford insurance for us. Medicaid wont cover us, what should I do?? I work but not enough and our total household income is less than 15,000.

    • Hi Catherine,
      You should check the marketplace for your state. With your low income and family size, you and your husband should qualify for assistance in obtaining insurance, or for Medicaid.
      For additional answers to your specific health insurance questions, please visit
      Thank you,
      Mary Ellen

    • Find yourself a large sturdy box that will house your entire family and set it up a beach somewhere. That is what we are doing when all the sxxx hits the fan. Good luck sweet heart you are going to need it.

    • If you make below a certain amount per year (around $9700 if you’re single with no dependents) you can get an exemption from having to buy insurance. If you make around $10,000 a year or below you can be covered by Medicaid if your state expanded Medicaid. If you make 12,000 and above you’ll qualify for a subsidy to entirely cover or nearly cover your cost for insurance. Google Kaiser Foundation calculator to get an estimate of what the health care plans will cost you.

  149. will you help me please? This health care is hard for me to understand. you sent an e-mail before telling me that my tax breaks exceed my cost of my ins. but I can find it.

  150. to all remember Congress didnt give the IRS the power to collect this but you will receive nasty letters from them but they cant enforce it they made sure of this when they passed the bill .

    • interesting. Im trying to find out what the actual penelty is since i do not have an extra hundred dollars a month,

      • Hi,
        If you don’t have insurance by March 31, 2014 and you are required to purchase insurance, you will receive a penalty of $95 per adult in your household, $47.50 per child, capped at $285 per household or 1% of your income if your income is over $20,000 if you’re single and over $55,000 if you’re married.
        Our calculator at will give you an estimate of the amount.
        Thank you,
        Lisa Greene-Lewis

      • start by deleading social networkings going off the grid and the famous buy ins cancel ins switch ins the way people due with car insurerance get agood safe remove all ties with banking cant levy nothing i got real wise over the yrs myself and familys delt with the f@# gov and state laws u should have seen this back in march when the as****h& 2010 talking about it and the idiots still voted for him 2nd term but the penaty is the best way to go so far or find the islands as primary residence speaking from i have dual citizenship know how to use it impeachment of the president ANYBODY REMEMBER IT and last time we all used it still havent seen a org to start one looking at my screen name tells a story. in ending good luck and stay on top of it IRS cannot threaten you for this or hold back refunds for wages on your tax form very seperate issues. paying income tax vs paying health care. why wasnt voted on by the people CAUSE WE WOULD NOT PASS IT . and they talked about how the mafia extorts money and least they can run a bussiness and not go in debt

      • If you don’t like the plan, say so in an understandable way….I can’t tell what you are trying to say. I THINK you don’t like it, but I can’t even tell that for sure….

      • I’ll make it simple for your understanding, If I don’t qualify for refinancing my home?, because I don’t show enough income, how the heck can I afford Medical Insurance???, when I’m over 300-500 a month in paying my bills? You mean to tell me you can’t do the math? If someone’s 500 a month in paying out what they owe, and the Law says at my age over 50, you have to purchase medical Insurance, cheapest at my age being 198.00 per month, 500 + 198.00 = 698 per month = bankruptcy.. You can’t figure out what I’m saying here you must be one of jerry’s kids?????? It’s a no Brainer. 

      • As for the penalty, ignoring for the moment the implications of the court challenges to the administrative interpretation by the DHS/IRS, avoiding it will also mean managing ones withheld or estimated taxes more carefully so that one is not left with a refund position at year’s end. Only then can the IRS pick your pocket via this penalty. Otherwise, they have under the law no recourse against you.

    • That makes since because “they” said that it would not be a tax but a penalty. Still can not figure out why IRS is even involved in this anyway.

      • The Supreme Court ruled that it was only constitutional because it was a tax. So the White House can either say it is constitutional (and therefore a tax) or it is unconstitutional (and therefor a penalty).

      • If you do your taxes right and don’t get a refund, then they can;t take a thing from you,,, send me bills all you want the SCOTUS said they can only take from your tax refund… so do your taxes right and don’t have a refund due that they can get there hands on

  151. My husband works part time and he has been insured individually. Can he still apply for health insurance under the Obama care or does he have to go on my policy at work since he is offered insurance even thou it is more expensive?

    • Hi,
      You husband does not have to go on your policy. He can check out his options on the Marketplace and determine the best option, including the policy he currently has.
      For additional answers to your specific health insurance questions, please visit
      Thank you,
      Mary Ellen

    • The calculations say that a married couple with two children under age 26 do not qualify for any aid what-so-ever and that the cheapest health coverage possible is over $1,900 a month… income was $34.500 gross in this example.

      Now if this tool calculates correctly……this would leave that family with just over $400 in usable income after complying with this law.

      I have to conclude that this is not intended to get the uninsured into a medical insurance plan but rather a back door method of lifting another $300 or so in Federal Tax revenue from every household falling anywhere near this situation.

      We in Texas call that a scam!!!

      • Hi Robert, there is something wrong with your example. I live in Texas too and my husband and I, with an income of $32,000 qualify for $680 each per month in tax credit, which is over $8000 each per year. The most expensive plan, for smokers is $1900 per month for both of us, which makes it out of pocket $540/month.

  152. Hi :) I worked full time for the first 3 months of this year, and worked part time for the rest of this year. I am 60 years old, a widow, and went on Social Security last February. I don’t have any health insurance and wanted to see if I qualify for Medicaid and need to know if where they ask for income, do I put in both the social security and job earnings, or just job earnings only? My son is 29 and lost his job due to cut backs and hasn’t been able to find another job because the economy is still not fully recovered here, so he is unemployed and lives with me. This year for both social security and my job, I will make approximately 27k total. Last year I made about 20k total. What is my best option for insurance because I barely have enough to pay for rent, groceries, car insurance, phone, gas & electric as it is. I worry that if I have to pay too much for health insurance that I won’t have enough money to pay rent every month. :( What do you think is my best option for health insurance? Thank you very much :)

    • Hi Deborah,
      First,they will include your social security income and your job earnings. The best option would be to check with the Marketplace and figure out what fits into your budget. You may also be eligible for a subsidy to help you pay for health insurance.
      For more answers to your specific health insurance questions, visit

      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  153. useless dribble that you can get anywhere. The real questions are who exactly would have an impact, how much is the federal tax penalty if you dont want to turn your life over to thier system.

  154. I live in MA so we have already had this healthcare requirement and tax penalties in effect for awhile now. A lot of people can’t afford healthcare and have made the choice to just pay the penalty which in the end is a lot cheaper. Employers only have to pay a minimum of 33% in order to be compliant with the laws so a penalty of between $300-600 is nothing in comparison to the between $3000-$6000 you pay out in health ins each year

  155. My daughter will turn 26 on 12/30/13 and as I understand will no longer be covered by our health insurance. She is a registered nurse and had 1/2 yr income in 2013 until she enrolled full time in college for post graduate work. For 2014 she will ot have income. what is her best option for healthcare? Thank you

  156. Obamacare is nothing but another ‘Tax farm’ – that is an important historical term, please look it up: TAX FARM. Go to the Walgreens clinics, or buy into a Doctor co-op, and kick the commie insurance companies back to Eastern Poland.

  157. Most people have this entire arguement upsidedown, and let me tell you why:

    Medicine (at least in this country) is nothing but a religion where doctors are the priests. This is a subsidy to the doctor’s, not the patients. This is no marketplace, just a huge profit to the insurance companies. Smart doctors are figuring this out….look at QLIANCE in Seattle. They don’t accept insurance, you just pay the doctor $70/month and you see them as often as you want, without copays and deductables! With ‘Insurance’, if you have ‘prescription coverage’, you are paying more for your drugs than just getting generic! People, there is no such thing as a free lunch, please wisen up for all of our sake. Insurance only ‘insures’ the provider gets paid, it does not insure your health. This is nothing but an Orwellian move to control our lives more and more. I would appreciate it if Turbotax stood up to this fascism, and not be a trumpeter for this fiasco.

  158. Turbo Tax has their act together! Wouldn’t it be nice if the Obama administration did? Thank you Turbo Tax for your clearly informative presentation. I know I will feel much better using Turbo Tax AGAIN this coming tax season

  159. Our household income technically qualifies for some subsides for health insurance, but my employer offers qualified ‘affordable’ single coverage. My husband is stay at home and works very part time in a paid coaching position at a public school. He is not offered insurance. Would he (and our children) be able to get coverage seperately from me via the exchange with a subsidy since he isn’t offered coverage from his employer or, since he could be covered through my employer’s very expensive family coverage does he not have that option? (family of 3 soon to be 4 making around $60,000).

    • Hi Lacey,
      Your husband and your children can get their coverage from the exchange. As long as the coverage offered by your employer for you qualifies as affordable, you will not be eligible for a subsidy to purchase your own policy.
      For additional answers to your specific health insurance questions, please visit
      Thank you,
      Mary Ellen

    • Unfortunately, if you qualify for your employer’s single plan, your husband and children will not qualify for any govt subsidies. Your options are: to purchase family coverage under your employer’s plan (hopefully with the employer paying a percentage – and the premiums paid reduce your taxable income); or purchasing the single coverage under your employer’s plan (since you are not eligible for Obamacare), and your family goes to the exchange and pays full fare – with no tax benefit. You will need to go to the public exchange to compare the two options (if and when the exchange website is working). Sorry – you are one of the many middle to lower income Americans who is being screwed by Obamacare.

  160. If my husband and I file “married filing separately” can we consider ourselves two households, if we live in the same house? Can we consider ourselves two households if we are married but live in two different homes? There’s a HUGE difference, $ wise. If we are one household (he’s a Vet, covered by the VA, so he’s fine) I will have to pay $500/m wf huge deductible. If we are two households, I get subsidy & would only pay $300/YEAR for the best coverage.. that’s enuf to have to consider.. !!

    • Hi Dee,
      If you’re married, you must file a joint tax return for 2014 in order to get lower costs on Marketplace coverage based on your income in 2014.
      You can check out the marketplace for your state to confirm that this applies if you do not live together.

      For additional answers to your specific health insurance questions, please visit
      Thank you,
      Mary Ellen

  161. My question pertains to income limitations to qualify for subsidies on health care premiums. I am looking for the definition for income as it pertains to these limitations as I am recently retired and receiving distributions from money that I earned / invested over many years. Do these distributions fall under the category of “income?”

    • Hi Rick,
      Income is your adjusted gross income (the bottom line on page 1 of your long form tax return) plus non-taxable social security, non-taxable interest and foreign income. Taxable IRA, 401K and retirement distributions are part of your adjusted gross income, non-taxable distributions are not.
      For additional answers to your specific health insurance questions, please visit
      Thank you,
      Mary Ellen

      • Mary Ellen: agi,ln1 plus non-taxable ss? Do you add back the difference from ln 20a? Will turbo tax fix this as well?

      • Hi Ernie,
        For 2012 tax returns, you would use the amount on Form 1040, Line 37, plus the difference between lines 20a and 20b, plus line 8b, plus any excluded foreign income.

        TurboTax will make the proper calculations when you file your 2014 tax return in 2015.

        Thank you,
        Mary Ellen

  162. If my employer offers insurance but it cost too much can I still go the Health Insurance Marketplace and get insurance. If not will I still b e able to get help paying for my insurance since I make under the amount that is required per single person?

    • Hi Sarah,
      You can shop in the marketplace if you have employer provided insurance. Whether you receive assistance will depend on if your employer-provided insurance is “affordable” and “meets minimum value”. If your employer-provided insurance meets both qualifications, you won’t be able to get lower premiums in the Marketplace. Please see this link for more
      For more answers to your specific questions, please visit
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  163. What about those of us covered under the Veterans Health Insurance? How are we going to prove our health insurance through TurboTax? They dont hand out insurance cards or policy numbers.

    • Hi Robert,
      According to the IRS Question and Answers on the Individual Shared Responsibility page – Insurers will be required to provide everyone that they cover each year with information that will help them demonstrate they had coverage beginning with the 2015 tax year.
      For additional answers to your specific health insurance questions, please visit
      Thank you,
      Mary Ellen

      • My husband has VA health coverage and is able to get an ID card now for the asking. Also, his healthcare acceptance paperwork has identifying info that can be used for tax purposes to demonstrate his coverage.

    • Hi Robert,
      If you are covered under the Veterans Health Insurance, they would report your insurance coverage information to the IRS. You would not have to prove you have insurance to TurboTax, but the software will be up to date with the tax law and will ask the necessary questions related to the tax law when you file you your 2014 taxes in 2015. For more answers to your specific health insurance questions please visit
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

      • Thanks Lorie, the VA actually sent me a letter stating that I was enrolled and there was nothing else that I needed to do. Also I did find out that the VA does give me out cards with limited information that them.



  164. How is Obamcare, or the Affordable Act going to help you? If you live off the government your all set, and the working people of this country will continue to support your lazy a–. My health insurance premiums are going is going up by 28%, and the deductible is now $6,000 a year. Obamacare is designed for one thing, and that is to destroy the United States. You low information voters have only yourselves to thank. When there are no more jobs, and the government no longer has money coming in from the working class, health care will the least of your concerns. Who cares if you have health care when you can’t afford to buy groceries(sorry you all have EBT cards), or pay the rent(again I am sorry you have government housing assistance).

    • What about us working people who work 40 or more hours a week and have Medicaid because we are considered low income, because we are single parents who work hard struggling every day to support the child(ren) that we have due to another parents inability or unwillingness to pay the required child support to help support that child? Does that mean that we fall into your biased, close-minded frame of thinking and that we are all “lazy a-“? I’m sorry but not everyone is as arrogant, ignorant, chauvinistic, and pigheaded as you obviously are on your high and mighty throne that makes you think you are god.

      • Where will you go, Somalia? Almost every country in the world has had socialized health care for many years.

        A friend of mine runs a one-man construction company. He says his health care premiums are going to be cut in half. He was paying for good coverage so that is an apple-to-apple comparison.

  165. Hi,
    Just wondering how the household income in my case would be calculated. We’re a family of 3 (me, my husband and my 10 year old son) usually, but last year my mother in law moved in with us for the short term. Is her income included with our household, even though she shouldn’t be? She is moving out soon but i’m not sure that she will be gone before we have to apply for the new healthcare.

    • Hi Jessica,
      That is a great question. Your household income is made up of the income of the people who are claimed on your tax return. As long as your Mother in Law is required to file her own tax return, and she is not a dependent on your tax return, she is not counted as a member of your household and her income is not included in your household income.
      For additional answers to your specific health insurance questions, please visit
      Thank you,
      Mary Ellen

  166. I have several questions no-one has been able to answer for me:
    1) household income – for the exchange is this adjusted gross income or taxable income?
    2) I buy my own insurance but my husband has none. He is self-employed & cannot afford it. Can we get insurance separately (him thru exchange & I keep mine)?
    3) By using the exchange, does this give the government access to our personal health info?

    • Hi Nadine,
      1. Household income is a Modified adjusted gross income. Your adjusted gross income is modified by adding in non-taxable social security income, non-taxable interest, and foreign income.
      2. You and your husband can have separate policies. He can get his through the exchange, using your household income.
      For additional answers to your specific health insurance questions, please visit
      Thank you,
      Mary Ellen

  167. My 25-year-old daughter is on my employer-based health insurance. Will she be able to remain on my insurance until age 26 which is the current law? What will happen in May of 2014 when she turns 26? Will she need to get Marketplace insurance that’s effective on her 26th birthday? If so, when should she apply for that coverage? Thanks for your help.

    • Hi Sharon,
      Your daughter has a little time to get insurance when she turns 26. She should be eligible for COBRA, and she can get insurance in the Marketplace. I think if she starts looking in April, she should have coverage by June.
      For additional answers to your specific health insurance questions, please visit
      Thank you,
      Mary Ellen

  168. I am on Medicare and plan to also purchase an Advantage Plan. Would it be more beneficial to purchase something through the ACA website?

    • Hi Kris,
      The best way to decide what is more beneficial is to to go your marketplace. Only plans purchased on the exchange are eligible for the payment assistance credit.
      For additional answers to your specific health insurance questions, please visit
      Thank you,
      Mary Ellen

      • I thought if you were going to be on medicare you couldn’t get insurance in the marketplace. Can you get a supplement then

      • Cheryl is correct, You cannot by Medicare supplemental insurance on the Markeplace.

  169. I keep hearing people talk about the “employer mandate”, and how it is the provision of Obamacare that requires the employer to pay (not just offer) for medical insurance for employees at companies larger than 50 FT employees; effective 2015. One of the stipulations is that the mandate only pertains if the employer pays for other employees, so it’s a “what you do for one you do for all” concept. Is this true?

    • Hi Marcus,
      There is no requirement that large employers pay 100% of the cost of medical coverage for their employees.
      There are provisions that require large employers to pay a penalty if even one of their full-time (30 or more hours per week) employees qualify for lower costs on their medical insurance on the Marketplace than what the employer offers.
      If the employee’s share of premium is 9.5% of household income or less, and the policy deductilbles and copays cover at least 60% of the total allowed costs of benefits provided under the plan, it is considered to be an affordable plan. Any plan offered on the Marketplace will meet these standards.

      There is no requirement that all benefits be equal, as long as the groups receiving a certain package of benefits is not selected to discriminate against legally protected classes, like age or race.

      For additional answers to your specific health insurance questions, please visit

      Mary Ellen

  170. Hi Lisa, My question for Oct 9 seems to have disappeared from this thread so I’ll try again: My wife is a Cherokee Nation Citizen and receives all of her healthcare through the Cherokee Nation’s Healthcare System. Is she required to purchase additional coverage?

    (I am covered by the VA, Medicare and a private Supplemental Policy already).

  171. Everyone should have insurance, by doing this perhaps the insurance co. wont be able to charge so much problem, and at least you can find insurance.

  172. The clock-stoppers, the regressives, would have you believe 54 percent of Americans are against the ACA. Well, 18 percent (one-third of the antis) are progressives who desire a single-payer system. They’re against Obamacare because it doesn’t go far enough. That leaves 36 percent, and of those, clearly, half couldn’t tell you why they’re against it. So, that leaves 18 percent (i.e., the tea party) who don’t like our president, who was re-elected as a referendum for the ACA. Why the tea party doesn’t like BHO, I don’t know. I can’t quite put my finger on it. Don’t forget, comprehensive health care is an idea first put forth by the clockstoppers as a way to get the “bums” (you know, the 47 percent) to pay their fair share.

    • get your head out of the sand, ostrich, the muslim obama will destroy this country thru socialism welfare, disability creating a nanny state and this health care will finalize it.

    • John the bums will get it free now so what the heck are you talking about? I don’t belong to the tea party, and I know a lot of other people that don’t agree with this new so called Affordable Health care plan. Who is it affordable for the bums??? Give me a break. I’m middle class. I paid for my childrens insurance when they turned 26. I got a better plan with BCBS for them than this affordable health care plan. Do you really know what you are talking about?? I don’t think so.

  173. I’ve been informed by BlueCross BlueShield that my monthly premium will increase by 50%, my annual deductible will triple and my co-payment increases 50%. Can someone explain how I benefit from higher premiums and less coverage?

    • THANK YOU!
      And on less than 25k a year….?
      AND after I got laid off, and lost my benefits (health premiums that had gone up 60 percent) and lost my only income, COBRA was quoted as another 56 percent higher, in addition to…
      Who can handle that?

    • yes Stan, but remember now everyone will have insurance (hahahaha) even if you can’t afford to pay for it.

  174. We can not afford insurance. My husband has it thru work but we can not affairs to add meat any price much less what they charge. No one should have ever been forced in to this. We would starve if we added me to a policy.

  175. I have been unemployed since May 2012 and have only a very small Social Security I took early at age 63. Will I have help if I can’t afford insurance?

    • HI,
      Yes, you should qualify for Medicaid, or for assistance in paying for your medical insurance. Check out the Marketplace for your state. Applying there will let you know exactly what assistance you will receive.

      For additional answers to your specific health insurance questions, please visit

      Thank you,
      Mary Ellen

    • Hi Alicia,
      You can check with ARKids to see if it qualifies. You can also check the AR Marketplace to find coverage if ARKids does not qualify.

      For additional answers to your specific health insurance questions, please visit

      Thank you,
      Mary Ellen

  176. I currently have a PPO plan through BCBS of NC. Will the new laws affect BCBS coverage or will they stay the same—-as in Will I be denied coverage because of my age –50– or will diagnostics and surgeries be limited because of the increased demand for services? You might tell me to check with BCBS…they haven’t offered explanations yet. Thanks for any info you can give….general info is helpful too.:-)

    • Hi Diane,
      All policies must meet minimum requirements, bet they don’t have to cover everything. You cannot be charged more than someone else your age for the same coverage, and cannot be denied coverage due to preexisting conditions. You may be able to find more information on the Marketplace for NC –

      For additional answers to your specific health insurance questions, please visit

      Thank you,
      Mary Ellen

  177. You left out a very IMPORTANT item. While insurance companies can not deny coverage due to pre-existing conditions, then can deny coverage due to your credit score. So, what if your credit score prevent you from getting insurance, what if all avenues are exhausted and you are denied coverage, are you still fined (taxed)? Present that fact please.

  178. Thanks for this short and sweet explanation of Obama Care and how it affects us and taxes. Appreciate your interest in helping us understand. :-)

  179. My son is not employed, and has no insurance. Would it be more beneficial for him to sign up for the affordable act, or should I add him to mine thru my employer?

    • If he is under 26, he can go onto your policy right now. That was a requirement of ACA which is already in force.

  180. When figuring our income LTD and Social Security Disability doi put both totals or do I put our taxable income? We are only taxed on the LTD .

  181. I am a 45 yr old widow with 2 kids at home, currently going to college on pell grant and not employed. We have only S.S. survivors benefits for myself and one child under 18, the other child is 18 and going to college full time on pell grants, We live in Texas and have never had insurance and would love the chance to have the kids covered but CHIPS turned us down last year and I was wanting to know if I could qualify for any help on the premiums? Also we are Native Americans of the Cherokee tribe but do not live in the territory of Okla so therefore we cant get medical coverage unless we travel there,

    • Hi Cheryl,
      You can check out your options at Enter your family size and income to see what policies and help is available to you and your children. Your household income will include the Social Security Survivors Benefits, but not the Pell Grants.

      For additional answers to your specific health insurance questions, please visit

      Thank you,
      Mary Ellen

      • POST #2 Just saw Your answer to Heather 3 or 4 posts from here. went on the link for the American Indian/ Alaskan Native. Very good site for Cheryl to go to.. On that link page, go through the question box at bottom of page…

  182. Will the Affordable Care Act (which we do not have to purchase-covered through employer) cause we middle class folks to pay even more taxes?

  183. I live in LA. Since governor Jindal refused the obamacare package does that make Louisiana residents exempt?

  184. My children and self are Native American. We do not have insurance but we get coverage through Indian Health Services. Do we need to apply for ObamaCare or are we exempt?

  185. Article. 1. Section. 1. Of our Constitution says that (All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and house of Representatives.) It never gave the power to write laws to the Judicial or the Executive branches which includes the President so by calling it a law you are really miss informing yourselves and no wear in the Constitution dose it give the Federal government power to involve themselves in healthcare. Inform Yourselves of the Constitution which is supreme Law!!

    • Are you serious Ben? Do you know how a bill becomes law? Maybe you should Google it. The ACA was voted on and approved by Congress. Wow.

    • Ben, you are misinformed. Not only was the Affordable Care Act voted into law by congress it was upheld as constitutional by the U.S, supreme court.

    • Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution says: “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States”.
      Many people, including myself, strongly believe that the Affordable Care Act is helping provide for the general welfare of the United States.

      • regarding ‘lay and collect’, Obama even disagrees with you,; regarding ‘helping provide’, it’s a private insurance mandate, where does ‘general welfare’ even belong in this argument much less the same sentence?

      • Let me guess, you can avoid insurance?
        I used to be able to before all the cut backs and lay offs.
        It’s not that I don’t want medical insurance.
        I grieve the loss of it every day.

  186. Hi
    I have health insurance through my employer but I pay $202.00 a month for premium coverage..I’m on disability through my employer and only earn $1987 a month now..will I be able to claim any of my insurance on my taxes? I’ve been paying this for 1.5 years now..

    • Hi Brandi,
      I’m not sure exactly what you mean by “claim any of my insurance on my taxes”. If your premiums are not paid through a cafeteria plan of your employers (they get deducted from your pay before taxes are calculated), you are already getting a deduction. If there is no cafeteria plan, then your premiums will qualify as a medical expense for itemizing deductions on Schedule A.
      The tax credits for assistance in paying are only available for policies purchased from the Marketplace.
      For additional answers to your specific health insurance questions, please visit

      Thank you,
      Mary Ellen

      • No they aren’t taken out of my pay..I’m on long term disability through my employer so every month I write a check for my health insurance..
        Thank you

  187. Hi.. I am 64 and will be 65 in January.. When I get Medicare it only covers 80%.. I will need a supplement to cover the extra 20%.. I am also low income approximately 15 thousand a year or I qualify for any help with the extra 20% insurance needed to cover all my care? Also I am a Citizen of the Chickasaw Nation in Ada Okla…but I live in Texas..

    • Hi,
      The Marketplace does not offer Medicare supplement (Medigap) insurance or Part D drug plans. For information on these programs, visit

      For additional answers to your specific health insurance questions, please visit

      Thank you,
      Mary Ellen

  188. My question pertains to income limitations to qualify for subsidies on health care premiums. I am looking for the definition for income as it pertains to these limitations as I am recently retired and receiving distributions from money that I earned / invested over many years. Do these distributions fall under the category of “income?”

    • Hi Rick,
      Income for purposes of the Marketplace is your adjusted gross income plus non-taxable interest, non-taxed social security and non-taxable foreign income. If your distributions are taxable income and not return of investment, then they are income.

      For additional answers to your specific health insurance questions, please visit

      Thank you,
      Mary Ellen

  189. I am unemployed and my wife’s employer does not offer a insurance plan. Our income is about $42,000. Would be able to get a tax credit?

  190. Hi.. I’m a bit confused. I’m reading about a tax credit? is this for people who buy into the obamacare or for those individual that already have insurance?

    I pay about 5K in health insurance a year, with a household of 4 and only one paycheck it would be nice to know that there is a credit that can be applied for having private insurance. thanks, Jackie

  191. This government is biggest crooks eet only way yuo get or country back is to stop voting for democrats and republicans

  192. My family is presently members of Samaritan’s Ministries Sharing plan(a non profit health sharing group). My understanding is that the IRS will recognize us as exempt from the mandate of forcing us to purchase insurance from health insurance companies that support abortions. Is this the true? Or do I need to be concerned of the state in which I live (WV).

  193. You may currently have health insurance, but it probably does not cover all of the additional coverage items required by the ACA. That would mean that, although you’re covered now, you may not be covered on January 1, 2014. And, if the coverage continues, it’s highly likely that the premium will be increased for the additional coverages required by the ACA. Employers are likely to pass all or part of the increased premium to the employees, resulting in a reduction in the employees’ net income. So, “what, me worry”?

    • My son works part time and buys very bare bones insurance through his employer. Can he drop the coverage and get a plan through the state exchange?

  194. We are quasi retired and living off of savings and taxable investments. In 2012 our taxable income was over $100K, and this year my income may be less than $50K. In 2014, it is anybody’s guess. My point is it is highly variable.

    So can you please tell me how the tax subsidies are calculated and if there are any strategies that i should deploy to get the maximum subsidy. My wife and I are 53 with no dependents. We have been buying high deductible, HSA qualified health insurance, and it looks like our premiums will be skyrocketing by 80% next year based on what the insurance company has suggested for us, and how it is in line with other programs being offered on our state’s insurance exchange. So it is critical that we understand how the subsidies work. Please advise.

    • Hi Mike,
      The credit is estimated when you purchase your insurance through the exchange. When you file your 2014 tax return in 2015, there will be a form for calculating the actual amount of the credit. You will then pay back any excess credit or receive a refund if your estimated credit was short of the actual. There are limits on how much you can be required to pay back.
      You can go back to the Marketplace and change your estimates throughout the year if your income is variable, adjusting your credit estimate as you go.
      For additional answers to your specific health insurance questions, please visit

      Thank you,
      Mary Ellen

  195. I will turn 65 in February 2014. How will the fine affect me if I do not take the insurance for two months.

    • Hi Elizabeth,

      You are allowed three month of no insurance, so you should have no penalty as long as your Medicare starts covering you by April 1, 2014.

      For additional answers to your specific health insurance questions, please visit

      Thank you,
      Mary Ellen

      • Thank goodness. At least there’s some time to think, research, learn about all this.
        And I can hope for a miracle before March 31st.

  196. I currently have insurance through my employer with a high-deductible HSA plan, and I have been working to build up my HSA balance over several years. Thankfully, I have been healthy and have not needed medicare care since I’ve been on the HSA plan. My question is, if I were to lose or leave my job and had to purchase coverage through the federal exchange (my state doesn’t have a state-based exchange), are the plans HSA-eligible? I think the law says that plans with a certain level of deductible are eligible, so I would think so, but I guess I”m worndering if I’d still have access to the savings in the HSA account to pay premiums and health expenses if I were participating in an exchange plan?

  197. Okay, everybody, get out and vote! Government is only what you make of it. If you don’t want all of these regulations, let’s put a better person in the presidency and let your senators and representatives know how you expect them to vote.

    • Your right Carol! This is a disaster and people better wake up.Govt healthcare doesn’t work,just ask Canada.Our freedoms are being infringed upon by this government.

      • Government Health Care doesn’t work? You have got to be kidding me Medicare gives the biggest bang for the buck and is the cheapest insurance you can purchase! Open your eyes and quit repeating all this “Tea Party” gobble de gook.

      • uh….actually, Canadian government health care DOES work. Maybe you have a ‘Cadillac’ health plan. In which case you would probably have lost it soon. (Or maybe you are in Congress?)

      • You should get the facts before making statements that don’t reflect reality. Canada’s system works just fine (I’ve lived with it, and used it, and it puts to shame any program available in the US, including the ACA). Canadians may complain, but they would revolt if their single-payer system were taken away!

      • The most freedom infringing piece of legislation is recent history was The Patriot Act, and just who’s idea was THAT?

    • We will be voting but not for those who want to deny me the ability to purchase health insurance from an insurance company! If you are successful at taking away my one chance at getting health care my husband and I will be forced to get a divorce so that all of our assets will be his name. That way if something happens to me, you the tax payers will have to pay for it. As it is now we would be wiped out financially giving us nothing to live on in our senior years. Give Affordable Health Care a chance!

  198. Right now, employers can deduct health care premiums so that health care is “tax free” benefit. What happens if my employer cancels the employee group policy, pays us what it used to cost him, and tell us to go get Obamacare? Will we now get taxed on the benefit with both employment and income taxes, not to mention state and local taxes?

    • Hi,

      Yes, if your paycheck is increased, you will have to pay higher income and employment taxes.

      Your employer can set up a Flex Spending Account for out of pocket costs so those can be tax free, but not for the insurance premiums.

      For more answers to your specific health insurance questions, visit

      Thank you,
      Mary Ellen

    • Do you know where it is written that employer policies currently are tax deductible for providing insurance? Thank you!

  199. I work for Walmart in Kansas, and with what I make and less than 40hrs. a week, I cannot afford their insurance, and my husbands boss does not provide insurance for his employers because of the price to cover them. what about people like us who cannot afford health insurance because of our income. neither me nor my husband make enough money to afford to be covered, even though we would like to have health insurance.

  200. My employer pays 100% of my premium. My husband gets somewhat decent insurance (we still can’t afford the deductible, but if anything major happens, we won’t be homeless). However adding our son is really expensive, over $350 per month on either of our plans. Can I get coverage through the exchange for him? Our income is decent, but after child support my husband pays, our income drops significantly. Would they consider our gross income, AGI, or net after child support, daycare, health care costs?

  201. Would my 28 year old daughter who is a full time student and works part time be better of taking the medical insurance through Florida Atlantic University or should she go with Obamacare?

    • Probably Florida Atlantic University. Review & compare the cost, the benefits and the costs your daughter or you will pay out of pocket for co-pays and deductibles. Make sure you look at the website (that ends in .gov not .com).

  202. My husband and I have insurance through his employer. I have guardianship of my grandson, but they won’t cover him because my husband is not his guardian. I have no income of my own, but we file joint taxes, and I claim my grandson on our taxes. Will they use household income to determine the cost for my grandson’s insurance? Seems unfair to do so since his employers seems to think he, and so they, are not responsible for him.

    • Hi Dawn,
      Since your grandson is claimed as a dependent on you and your husbands tax return the Marketplace would use household income to determine your grandson’s health insurance. For more answers to your specific health insurance questions, please visit
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  203. If you already have coverage as I have and paid for individually; YOU ARE NOT ALL SET! that is an untrue statement. I was recently notified by my health insurance company that because of ACA they were dropping my coverage as of Dec. 31st. I cannot keep my current insurance and I’m worried I will not be able to see my regular doctor and what this Obamacare policy will cost.

    • Hi Shirley,
      Yes, that is true if your insurance company drops your coverage then you would have to visit the Marketplace and purchase there. Those that already have coverage and remain covered don’t have to do anything.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  204. I am a veteran and covered by my Va benefits. How does this impact my taxes and filling out taxes online?

    • Hi Donald,
      Because you have coverage through your VA benefits, you don’t need to do anything more, and your taxes will not be impacted by this.
      For more answers to your specific health insurance questions, please visit
      Thank you,
      Mary Ellen

  205. I am in the same boat I have insurance mykids have chip my wife has none but she has no income of her own will I get fined

    • Clinton. It is my understanding that if your wife has no income and you file jointly then you should probably put your wife on your insurance plan. If she goes without, then you would be “fined” on your taxes. If that is not an option then she would have to get her insurance through the ACA based on the joint income status, which you probably would get tax credits for

  206. The video was great,very helpful. The background music however was terrible and distracting. Try to tone it down a bit. Thanks.

  207. I am a USA citizen living in Mexico fro the past 3 years and have my own USA health policy but want to drop it it and buy Mexican insurance, which is much lower in cost. If i do this, will I be required to USA insurance as well?

    • Hi,
      According to

      U.S. citizens living in a foreign country are not required to get health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act. If you’re uninsured and living abroad, you don’t have to pay the fee that other uninsured U.S. citizens may have to pay.

      Generally, health insurance coverage in the Marketplace covers health care provided by doctors, hospitals, and medical services within the United States. If you’re living abroad, it’s important to know this before you consider buying Marketplace insurance.

      For more answers to your specific health insurance questions, please visit

      Thank you,
      Mary Ellen

      • I still have a USA residence where my two sons live and they both have jobs. I am in Mexico, but have USA private insurance. One son is insured by his employer, but the other age (26) has no insurance. How would He calculate “house hold income”? The only income that I have amounts to about $12000/yr. from investments.
        Also: how does the government know that I have my own USA insurance(which I may cancel) and if I do cancel and get Mexico insurance, how do they know that I live outside of the USA, when I still file taxes with my USA address where my son’s live?

  208. Thanks you for this information!! Turbo-Tax rocks and this clear explanation answered all of my questions….keep up the good work!

  209. My husband has insurance threw his company and my kids get chips but I have no insurance what are my options I live in Texas and we make about 29k a year

  210. Who are the few exceptions? I heard that ordained ministers could opt out like they can with social security, is this true?

    • There are exemptions for those who can’t afford coverage, those with low household income, members of federally recognized Indian tribes, individuals who experience a hardship, individuals who experience a short (3 months or less) coverage gap, incarcerated individuals and individuals who are not lawfully present in the US. There are also exemptions for the members of q Qualified nonprofit health care sharing ministry and for members of certain religious sects. The certain religious sect must be recognized by the Social Security Administration, so it isn’t quite like ministers who just file the form to be exempt from Social Security. There is more to it. I would start with your state Marketplace to see if you qualify for exemption.

  211. I am employed by a local Electrical Utility Company. My wife recently started working for an insurance firm as a 1099 employee. What expenses are allowable for deduction? Mileage to and from her office? Client Luncheons/Dinners? Equipment such as tools, computers, laptops. For example she just made cookies for an open house her firm is sponsoring. Can that be claimed and to what degree…the natural gas stove used to bake the cookies, etc, etc,,,,

    • Hi Thomas,
      The answers to your question depend on particular circumstances. If your wife is required to work at the insurance company office, here mileage will not be deductible. If she is required to provide a home office, and meets all of the qualifications for deducting a home office, then the mileage may be deductible. If she is paying out of her pocket for client luncheons/dinners and keeps the proper documentation – who, why, how much – she can deduct those on her schedule C. The cookies for the open house – just the ingredients, unless you have some handy-dandy way to calculate the amount of fuel she used in baking the cookies. If so, add that in. Other supplies are deductible, but computers, laptops, and cell phones will need to be depreciated, and you need to separate personal use from business use of the computers unless they are in a qualified home office.
      You can find additional information at this blog –

      • Thanks for the information. It was very helpful. Seems like most of the answers lie in the fact that we really just need to use common sense and logic.

      • Another question for you in reference to my wife working as a 1099 employee! We’re in Pennsylvania(residence). We have a local E.I.T. (Earned Income Tax) rate of 1.5%, State income Tax of 3.07% and then her federal portion. I’m figuring on socking away 30% of her salary to cover all those taxes. Is this too much?

      • Thomas,
        Self employment tax rate (social security and medicare) is 15% (after the deduction) on net business income, plus your federal income tax rate. If your federal tax bracket is more than 10%, you may need to save a bit more for taxes.

  212. Obamacare is an unconstitutional law. the best thing for everyone to do is to refuse obamacare, refuse to pay the fine, refuse to be bullied by obama and the irs. fight, to the death if necessary this illegal, communist, so called law.

    • Strange how the US Supreme Court didn’t think it was unconstitutional. In fact they ruled just the opposite. Guess you know more than they do.

    • Generally speaking. Once the SCOTUS rules a law constitutional they do not revisit it. So PPACA is constitutional.
      The abrogation of duty in regard to Congress powers of disbursement however may be putting Boehner in jeopardy. I do believe he is on the verge of violating the constitutions 14th amendment.

    • You forgot to say refuse the Supreme Court, who found the law Constitutional. Oh….wait. But hey, if you fight to the death that means more room for normal people.

  213. Screw obamacare! Single 25 guy with 40k income not qualified for any subsidy..and the cheapest plan in NY is $3500 out of my own pocket because my company doesn`t provide any assistance with health insurance. In which way this is an “affordable” and how it`s now going to benefit me?

  214. I am self employed and have no health insurance. Last year my AGI was 23k (on about $98k of income). This year my income will hit approximately $150k so my AGI will be around 50k I presume. My Fiance, who I fully support has no job, no insurance, and no income. Am I better off making her an employee and providing insurance for both of us? Will tax credits help either of us? Are the credits better as a business than as an individual?

    Also, I live in one state but my official residency is in another. Do I have a choice where I get my insurance? Do I have to treat in the state that I have my coverage in? I work all over the country….


    • Hi Mike,
      You can check out your options by going to the Marketplace to see which plan will be of the most benefit – hiring your fiance and providing insurance through your business, or claiming her as part of your household and getting insurance through the Marketplace. I would look at both your resident state and your non-resident state and see which doctors and hospitals are included, and which costs are covered.

      For more answers to your specific health insurance questions, visit

      Thank you,
      Mary Ellen

    • No health insurance? Uncovered health care costs are one of the biggest causes of bankruptcy. You are playing with fire. Talk to a financial planner immediately.

  215. It’s not entirely true that you will not have to do anything if you already have individual insurance. We were notified by our insurance carrier that we are required to purchase our policy from the marketplace because our current policy does not meet the new standards.

    Already our insurance has gone up 57% two years ago because of the requirement for our children to be able to stay on our policy until 26 years old. So our carrier began charging a “per child” cost instead of a “family” cost.

    Last year our policy went up another 28% because we did not carry maternity insurance since we already have children and do not plan on having more. Because of ACA, we not only have to pay maternity on my wife, but now it is on my portion as well!

    I am not sure what is being “upgraded” now, but I have this haunting feeling that my rates are going up once again…

    So this is the third time that I am not able to keep my insurance even though I liked it better the way it was. But apparently there was no for Obama to know that when he said we could keep our insurance if we liked it!

    • Hi Frank,
      If your insurance carrier drops your policy, you will need to get insurance from another source, either the Marketplace or a private carrier.
      But if your policy is continuing, you do not need to make any additional changes.

      For more answers to your specific health insurance questions, visit

      Thank you,
      Mary Ellen

    • I am retired and on a fixed income. My wife works part time. No children at home. We are both in good health and carry high deductable policies. I was notified that our current health insurance policies would end on Dec. 31 and we can continue coverage under a policy that is similar and complies with ACA requirements. My premium is increasing by 83.8% and my wife’s premium is increasing by78.9%. I am very frustrated with this entire health care change.

  216. I have health insurance thru my employer. My ex lost job 5 yrs ago & is required to have health benefits for my 16yr old daughter but doesn’t. I claim her on my taxes. So exactly who will get penalized???

    • You should consider insuring your child. My ex was suppose to insure my son but hasn’t the entire 12 years of his existence but anything could happen so I insured my child versus him going uncovered. Your child should not be uncovered because of lack of responsibility of the other parent. Since you claim her on your taxes you will be penalized because you are the one getting the credit for claiming her. Be safe and insure your child or take your ex to court.

      • I agree TBC. But, the sad part is, even with a court order the other parent does not ‘have’ to get the insurance. My advice to Theresa would be to get the insurance for your child and have it added into the child support calculation.

  217. how do i estimate my 2014 income? my situation is kinda complicated. now my wife and i are both attending school and expect to graduate next year. so starting 2014, both of us will be looking for jobs. right now our annual income is around 15k which is qualified for the medicaid bracket, but most likely we will have jobs in 2014 and our real income for 2014 is much higher, lets say 60k for the year of 2014. so how are we gonna apply for the obamacare? what income are we suppose to estimate? what if we use medicaid for the entire year of 2014, and the real income end up being much higher when we file 2014 tax return in 2015? please help me. thank you

    • Daniel,
      You can start with Medicaid, then go back to the Marketplace when you begin working to adjust your income. Hopefully you will have coverage through your new employer and will not have to buy insurance. If you qualify for Medicaid, you are not receiving the tax credit, so there will be no repayment if your income goes up.

  218. So i have until march31st 2014 to sign up- I turn 65 May16,2014 and will then be on medicare. What penalty will i incure? And should i sign up for this insurance? I am confused

    • The penalty for not having insurance can be as high as 1% of your income. You can get insurance for the five months prior to being eligible for Medicare through your state Marketplace. As you are talking with Social Security, they may have more information for you, or you can ask questions on your state Marketplace.

  219. How can u find out about if u can get help with paying insurance Low rates. I am single mom with 2 kids not making 15,000 a year. ?

    • The best place to get that information is your state’s Marketplace. With your low income and your family size, you should qualify for fully subsidized insurance.

    • Your marketplace is You can apply for assistance there. They have free insurance as well as low cost insurance, and certain government benefits for paying for insurance and medical bills are only available if you get your insurance from the Marketplace.

  220. I have health insurance through my employer. The question is on my daughter. Her father is required to carry her health insurance however he has been known to let it drop with out letting me know. I claim her on my taxes. Do I get fined if he lets her insurance drop. I have tried to get it to where I carry her insurance but the court would not let me because he said he would.

    • Yes, you will be fined if your daughter does not have insurance, because you claim her as a dependent on your tax return.

  221. What about students who are living and studying in a foreign country and who have insurance in the country they are residing?

  222. Do I have to pay a fine if I just get catastrophic insurance from an independent carrier and don’t buy from an exchange.

  223. I’m retired and the company I worked for pays 25% of my monthly premium and I pay 75% of the monthly premium. That 75% I pay totals around $10,000.00. a year. This is the only plan offered by my company and we plan on continuing on this plan till age 65. I was wondering if my wife and I may receive any tax credits on our 2013 or 2014 tax filing based on the percentage of our income paid for health coverage.

    • If your company does it’s homework, it can offer you a cafeteria plan where health insurance is offered at a certain percentage. Yours is at 25% now. The amount you pay that is deducted from your paycheck can be deducted before taxes. So you don’t pay taxes on that amount. That is how my company does it.

    • my understanding from our Health Ins broker,
      the law states you do not pay more than 9.5% of your earned income for coverage.(assets not part of the equation)
      If the employer ‘charges’ more out of your pay than 9.5% you can shop on the Marketplace/exchanges.

    • The tax credits are only available for policies purchased through the state Marketplace.