Seven Things You Need to Know About Health Care Reform

Health Care

Are you starting to hear the buzz about Health Care Reform, also known as  “Obamacare”?  Are you confused about how it impacts you and your family?


You can relax.  Whether you’re insured or not, here are seven important things you need to know:

  1. Health Care Reform Provides Affordable Insurance to the Uninsured
  • Beginning October 1, 2013, uninsured Americans can start shopping for affordable health insurance in the online health insurance marketplace.
  • Most uninsured U.S. citizens and legal residents will be required to purchase health insurance by March 31, 2014.

2.  Health Care Reform Provides Expanded Coverage

  • Ability for young adults to stay on parents’ plan until age 26.
  • Individuals with pre-existing conditions cannot be denied coverage..
  • Medicaid will now be offered to individuals under age 65 with income less than about $15,302 ($31,155 for a family of four).

3.  You May Be Eligible for a Government Subsidy

  • Uninsured individuals who purchase health insurance through an online health insurance marketplace or exchange and have income no greater than about $94,200 * for a family of four, may be eligible for a government subsidy to help pay for health insurance.
  •  The subsidy will be in the form of a tax credit.
  • Unlike most tax credits, you will not have to wait to receive the credit or subsidy; it will be applied to your insurance premium when you purchase in 2014.

4.  You Can Start Checking Insurance Options Before 2014

  • Beginning in October 2013, if you’re uninsured or looking for more affordable insurance, you can visit your state’s online health insurance marketplace to see your options.

5.  You May Receive a Penalty if Not Insured by March 31, 2014

  • If you are required to purchase health insurance and have not done so by March 31, 2014, you will receive a penalty.
  • The tax penalty will be on your 2014 tax return filed in 2015.
  • The penalty in 2014 is $95 per adult, $47.50 per child, capped at $285 or 1 percent of household income depending on income.
  • Each year the penalty increases.
  • By 2016, it rises to $695 per adult, $347.50 per child, capped at $2085 or 2.5 percent of household income.
  • There is no penalty for a gap in coverage less than three months.

6.  You May Be Exempt from the Health Care Reform Law

You may not be required to purchase insurance and will not see any changes in 2015 on your 2014 tax return with regard to the purchase of insurance if:

  • You already have health insurance through your employer, Medicare, Medicaid, or purchased on your own.
  • You have income below the IRS tax filing threshold ($9,750 if you are single).
  • You have financial hardship.
  • The lowest cost plan option exceeds 8% of  your income.
  • You are American Indian.

7.  TurboTax is Your Reliable Health Care Source

  • As with all tax laws, TurboTax is up to date with the latest health care tax law changes. You can continue to rely on the TurboTax Community for answers to help you find out how health care reform impacts you, your finances and your taxes.

*400% of the 2013 Federal Poverty Level