Whether you’ve been away at college, have your first job, or you’re still living at home with your parents you’ve probably heard something about the new health care law, the Affordable Care Act.
But do you know how the March 31 deadline to purchase health insurance impacts you?
If you’re unsure, here are 6 key things you need to know about the Affordable Care Act and the March 31 deadline:
1. Requirement doesn’t impact 2013 taxes – The requirement to purchase health insurance under the Affordable Care Act doesn’t impact your 2013 taxes that you are filing by April 15, 2014.
2. You may already be covered – If you already have health insurance provided by your employer, Medicaid, or Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) that meets minimum standards under the Affordable Care Act, you will not have to purchase health insurance. You can keep your existing health insurance and you will not face a tax penalty.
3. There are exemptions -You may be exempt from purchasing health insurance if:
- Your household income is less than the IRS income tax filing requirement ($10,000 if single, $20,000 married filing jointly)
- You are a member of certain religious sects or ministries, or of a federally recognized Native American tribe
- Uninsured for less than three consecutive months in a year
- Not able to get insurance because of hardship or the lowest premium is more than eight percent of your household income
- Uninsured because your insurance plan was recently cancelled and you can’t afford a marketplace plan
- Your health insurance does not meet minimum coverage standards, but your state insurance commissioner allows your insurer to continue to offer out of date plans until the October 1 2016 additional grace period.
4. You can stay on or be added to parents’ insurance until you’re 26 – You may be doing your taxes on your own, but the Affordable Care Act allows you to stay on or be added to Mom and Dad’s health insurance until you’re 26 even if :
- You don’t live with them
- You’re attending school
- You’re not financially dependent on them
- You’re eligible to enroll in your employer’s plan
5. Did you turn 26? If you had a birthday and are now 26, time for more independence. You will have to purchase your own health insurance by March 31 or face a penalty on your 2014 taxes when you file in 2015 unless you qualify for an exemption. Depending on your income, you may be eligible for a subsidy or tax credit to help you pay for your insurance.
6. How to get covered
- If you are under 26, you can be enrolled in your parents health insurance plan during your parents’ health plan open enrollment period.
- If you are over 26, you will have to purchase health insurance by March 31, unless you qualify for the exemptions mentioned. You can purchase in your state or the federal Health Insurance Marketplace. You may also be eligible for a subsidy or tax credit to help you pay for your health insurance.
TurboTax Health can help you compare health plan options, find out if you’re eligible for a subsidy, get an estimate of the subsidy, and how much your penalty will be if you don’t get insurance.
- If you’re 30 and under or have a hardship, you may be eligible for a Catastrophic health plan. Catastrophic plans protect you from very high medical costs in the event of a serious illness or accident.
- You may also be eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The Health Insurance Marketplace and TurboTax Health will help you compare your options.
As with all tax laws and health care laws, TurboTax is always up to date with the latest changes so you can be confident your taxes are done right.
If you have more questions about the new health care law and the March 31 deadline, TurboTax Health is here for you to guide you through the Affordable Care Act and to help you understand what it means to you and your family.