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Five Facts the Insured Should Know About Health Care Reform

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You may have an understanding of what health care reform means for the uninsured, but do you know how it affects you if you already have health insurance?

Whether you have  health insurance through your employer, parent, or are self-insured, here are five facts you should know about how health care reform impacts you:

1.  Since you are already covered, you don’t have to worry about purchasing health insurance by March 31, 2014. If you have employer-provided insurance, you can keep your current insurance; you aren’t required to take any action and you will not be subject to penalties as long as you still have health insurance in 2014.

2.  You may replace individually purchased health insurance.  You are free to change your individual health insurance plan by shopping in the Health Insurance Marketplace.  If your plan ends before March 31, 2014, you can change your individual plan during open enrollment in the marketplace starting October 1, 2013.

3.  If you’re under 26 years old, you can remain on your parent’s insurance plan. You can stay on your parent’s plan even if you’re married and not living with your parents.

4.  You may be entitled to new protections under the law, including:

–       Health insurance companies are now required to cover people with pre-existing conditions.

–       Insurance companies will be held accountable for rate increases.

–       Many health plans will be required to cover free preventative health care like mammograms and other health care screenings.

5.  If you have COBRA continuation health insurance, you can switch to a plan offered in the Health Insurance Marketplace. If you left your job and have COBRA continuation coverage, you have the option to purchase health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

Please check back with us to find out the latest information about Health Care Reform.  As with all tax laws, TurboTax is up to date with the latest health care tax law changes.  You can continue to rely on TurboTax as your resource to find out how health care reform impacts you, your finances, and your taxes.

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

61 responses to “Five Facts the Insured Should Know About Health Care Reform”

  1. If my 17 year old son’s health insurance was covered by my ex husband last year per our divorce decree, do I still have to include my 17 yr old son’s part time income to mine when I file? I am the only one covered by the Obama affordable healthcare act.
    My household income was $29,000 last year. My son made $7,000 last year working part time.
    Thank you in advance for your help

  2. My premium has gone down due in Massachusetts. My wellness benefits are no longer a hassle and my Maximum out of pocket will protect me from an 80/20plan where a heart attack or stroke could result in copayments of $30,000. The new plans assure more well babies and adults and financial protection. We have had mandated insurance here for some time.

  3. At the beginning of this year I started a good job and made good money, spending almost all of it on paying off accumulated debt.

    My employer decided it was cheaper to let me go, and now I have to also get this Obamacare insurance or be heavily taxed next year.

    Because of what I made until leaving the job, I don’t seem to qualify for any subsidies. Yet, I don’t have any real income now to pay for insurance.

    What in the world?

    This law stinks!

    • You can get an inexpensive plan this year, or claim lower income for next year for a subsidy. If you get more income, be sure to report it to the marketplace so they can adjust your subsidy or you may be hit with a big tax bill
      Yes, the law stinks. I have read a lot of it, and it has a lot of issues yet to be resolved.

  4. Here is something I have yet to see anyone post about, how about the fact that by 2016 my premium will be triple what I pay now because my insurance has been deemed affordable by obamacare and is now being raised to the limit of what is deemed affordable.

    • You may wish to watch another news channel. You aren’t getting the full story of the consequences to this bill. I’m a health insurance agent and have been telling clients for 3 years what will happen with the new ACA plans/rates. Get a plan this year and you can stay on it at least until 1/1/15. Remember, if you like your plan, (Obama said you can keep it), but now…..too bad! By the way, taxes are going way up too! Remember to vote and tell your friends to vote too! We need to take back our country and get responsible for ourselves. If we don’t, we all lose our freedom.

    • I just filed my taxes. I do not have insurance or obama care. I had to pay 155$ penalty. However I did my boyfriends taxes who also does not have insurance or Obama care and he did not have to pay any penalty. Can someone tell me why?

      • Hi Nichole,
        He may have fit into one of the exemptions that is given through your tax return, like income below the IRS tax filing threshold of $10,150 or his insurance would be more than 8% of his household income.
        Thank you,
        Lisa Greene-Lewis

  5. Just one more thing for the poor and middle class to stress and worry about. Mr. Obama you are such a great person. NOT!!!!!! Thank you ever so much to all in government for saddling us with these new burdens.

  6. I certainly expected more pertinent information from Turbo Tax. After all, we are reading this because we are interested in the tax consequences of the PPACA. People need to know if they claim a subsidy that isn’t absolutely accurate, it could drastically affect their 2014 tax return. People also need to know they can sign up for multiple plans in a family to get the coverage they need.

    • Hi Jeanine,
      Thank you for your feedback. We also have answers to very specific questions that have been asked in our community and a place where people can go to ask very specific questions. Please visit TurboTaxAnswerXchange.com to for more information.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

      • Thanks! I will direct my clients to this area for tax related questions. There are a lot!! I’m glad you have a place for specific questions.

  7. #1 is absolutely not true-one of the biggest lies is you can keep the plan you have. My group plan is being required to disband…,,,,,,got the confirmation letter on this yesterday from Aetna.

    • Most group plans will need to comply with the new mandates upon renewal next year. Aetna has left the group market in several states. Individual plans may keep the same benefits until 1/1/15, depending on the carrier. The bill would not have passed if people were told they could not keep their same insurance. It’s politics.

      • I totally disagree. the bill was written by special interests and designed to drive out private health insurance from the public. it isn’t politics. it is an idealogy disquised by lies.

    • I just received a news headline that 7 of 9 insurance companies in my state will no longer do business in this state. My husband’s insurance is with one of those companies. I have a friend who told me recently that their company also will no longer write insurance in this state. So, I agree with Rhonda Howard; There is a big possibility that you will not be able to keep the plan you have. As for mine, I got notice last week that my premiums are going up 53% on Jan 1, 2014, cited Obama Care as the reason.

      • The way it’s been written is that most plans must comply on 1/1/15 with the ACA plan essential health mandates. I am seeing less competition as carriers pull out of certain markets and devote their attention to profitable business.

    • I agree with you. There’s still time to get a new group plan in place with today’s rates. It will keep you stable until 1/1/15, or until the plan renews next year, depending on the carrier.

  8. I am 49 and I have been on disability since I was in my 20’s . I didn’t get a supplement when I got on disability and I haven’t been able to get one . Will I be eligible to purchase one now ? Please reply. I need a supplement badly.

  9. My Manicurist had Medicaid Healthcare Coverage, for 3 years. Her income tax shows her GROSS income to be about $12,900 for 2012. Yest they are now denying her coverage, saying she makes too much.
    Maryland shows they DO have expanaded Medicaid, but I don’t really understand what this means for her? She is an American citizen, but her English is very poor, and she can’t read anything in English. So I have taken her on to help.
    Can you give me advice for her situation?

  10. I’m Retired and have Blue Cross/Blue Shield through the Federal Health Benefit Plan. My Grandaughter just. Passed away AT 39 years old and left three children, ages 21,19, & 16. The 21 and 19 year old is in College. However, 21 year old just gave birth to a baby and none have Health Insurance. My question is; Can I put all of them on my plan? If no, what are my options if any? Thanks in advance.

    Philip R. Green

  11. I’m Retired and have Blue Cross/Blue Shield through the Federal Health Benefit Plan. My Grandaughter just. Passed away AT 39 years old and left three children, ages 21,19, & 16. The 21 and 19 year old is in College. However, 21 year old just gave birth to a baby and none have Health Insurance. My question is; Can I put all of them on my plan? If no, what are my options if any?

    • You will be able to purchase them insurance thru an agent on the Marketplace. You cannot put them on your retiree plan. You can try to put them on Medicaid.

  12. how am i to buy this for my grown child one of which is disabled (mild retardtion and mild kindeny failure) but does not quilify for disabilty and the other a college student who has to matain a full class load to keep her scholarships and we live in a very small town where there are no jobs for what are called normal workers and need no working around class times and our state is not expanding medicaid i am disabled my self so we live on just over 700 a month (no food stamps) it takes everything just to have a roof over our heads and some food on the table i have no money for this and they do need some kind of coverage the one in college just got told she can no longer go to school after this year without having some coverage and the clinic that i have been able to take them to(cost 20 a visit) is colosing at the end of the year i will have to choose between her being able to finish her school by buying the ins and us living in a tent somewhere free of charge to do this or them just not having any kind of coverage but a place to live and maybe the ones kindeys will go into complete failure and than we have to pay a fine because we could not afford to pay for this in the first place and we will not quilify for the help with the premium because i dont make enough money to quilify for that so what do i choose to have them corvered and be homeless or not to and have ones health get wrose and pay a fine when it does and the other who is trying to better herself have to drop out of school and they cant get corvered by their dad either he is dead so tell me what i can do

  13. As you know medicare premiums vary from year to year. They take it out of your social security whether you like it or not. I asked Medicare if they know what the premium will be starting 1 Jan 2014 and they said they don’t know! I asked my elected representatives and they said they don’t know! I asked AARP if they knew what the medicare premiums would be and they said they don’t know! It seems a lot of people in Washington don’t know anything, which is par for the course. We elected these idiots that don’t know anything! I wish someone could tell me if my Medicare premiums are going up under this socialist government so I can file for bankruptcy.

  14. those are just a few little plus es what about the minuses ?
    and tell us is the Congress going to have the same kind of coverage we have, or the President and his family.
    and our old people going to have a cutoff for their operations saying they’re too old.
    and how about those that have an income but they are penniless after they pay their bills and have no money for health plans are they going to be arrested.
    and what about those that are working off the books collecting money from their boyfriends better living at home with them and still getting a because nobody knows about this broad is there going to be any investigations

  15. My employer provides health insurance but it is what is called Limited Coverage. It only pays a max of 750.00 per year for doctors visits and any test or lab work and 7500.00 per year for any hospital stays. My questions is, does my company have to offer any better insurance?

    • Not at this time. 2015 is when penalties kick in for groups with over 50 full time equivalent employees who do not offer compliant coverage.

  16. I do NOT want health insurance!!!

    Why are we being pressured to buy?

    Why getting ripped off? $95 tax penalty???

    Why can’t have option to buy or not?

    Is America Free Country? or Isn’t?

    This is just getting too much control by men, of a human beings!!!

    • The $95 tax penalty is only if you make $9500 or less a year. The penalty is either $95 or 1% of you income. Do the math, and if you make more than $9500, your penalty is higher than that

      • Hi Don,
        Thank you. The $95 penalty per adult is assessed if your household income is less than $20,000 per year if you’re single and less than $55,000 if you’re married. If your income is higher than $20,000 then your penalty is about 1% of your household income. You have to take your income less the IRS filing threshold x 1%. So a single person making $21,000 penalty would be $21,000 – 10,000 =
        $11,000 x .01 = $110
        If you make $9500 or less you are exempt from getting health insurance and will not be assessed a penalty since that is below the IRS filing requirement, which is an exception. See https://www.healthcare.gov/exemptions/
        For more answers to specific health care questions, please visit TurboTaxAnswerXchange.com
        Thank you,
        Lisa Greene-Lewis

      • Lisa, do you think there will really be a penalty for anyone in the amount of $95? Those people would be Medicaid eligible so they’d have credible coverage if they’d sign up for it. I think it was just a way to make the penalty sound low, but it’s not realistic.

  17. I have a relative who is 54 and has Medicare because he is disabled. He has not been able to get supplemental insurance because of a preexisting condition. Is he now eligible for a supplemental insurance policy under the new law? If so where is the best place to inquire about which policy is best suited to him ?
    Thank You!

  18. It says kids under 26 can stay on their parents insurance. Are you forced to keep them on or is it an option? My husband has two kids he doesn’t see or have contact with. They are 18 and 17. He was originally only forced to insure them to age 18. Does he now have to keep them on till age 26 or can he drop them and have them get their own at age 18?

  19. I just went on COBRA coverage after losing my job. I have family coverage at a rate of $756 a month. My family consists of myself, wife (disabled and on Medicare however we continue to cover her due to high cost medications) and two children 21 and 23. If we move to the Marketplace and I find a new job offering employer subsidized health care can I move out of the Marketplace and onto the new employer offer plan?

  20. My 25 year old daughter is not, and has not been eligible to be on my plan since she started working full time in 2010. The law has a loophole that makes a child have to buy their own insurance if they work at a job where they are offered insurance through their employer. When will you revise your text for talking point 3 to accurately reflect this horrible loophole?

  21. My 20 year old daughter is in college. She had insurance through her dad and arkansas medicaid. When she turned 19 medicaid stopped and her dad stopped paying child support and dropped his insurance. I have insurance paid for by my employer but it is outrageously expensive to add her to mine. Almost $500 a month to add a child, who can afford that? She is a full time student and works 10-15 hours a week. She can not afford insurance. Please help me. What are our options?

    • You can currently purchase a medically underwritten individual plan for her for less than $150 per month. Do it before 12/31 to get the lowest rate for her.

  22. How does a person with no income and no current health insurance go about purchasing health insurance/getting health coverage in this new health car plan. Would be be fined if she does not have the ability to buy health insurance. *this person has been turned down for SSI and SSDI.

      • so if they get 10,000 $400 a year they would be required to purchase health insurance which is impossible.it is impossible for a single person to afford health insurance or even live on $10,400 a year pay rent electric buy food travel where they have to go or to work. This is disgusting and you think we’re stupid .
        this Obama Care would only hurt the middle class and the poor and the rich will not be affected by this except maybe they will have a little bit less money because of what they pay their employees. that won’t bother then either because they’ll just have a tax write off.
        once again this will be a great hardship for the middle class and the poor.
        I don’t understand why it is called Obamacare it should be called Obama don’t care !

    • Thank you very much! That’s exactly what I was wondering. I thought those were the people healthcare reform was supposedly going to be helping. My son has been unemployed for a couple years. Even if he takes a part time job with Wendy’s, he still couldn’t afford insuramce. He doesn’t qualifiy for social security of any kind. Reform is only for those that have’t got insurance but can afford it if they get into the “pool”.

    • If you are on SSDI or SSI you automatically qualify for medicare. Why does she not already have it, or did you just not know?

      • You do not automatically qualify for medicare on disability or SSI. There is a 6 mo waiting period for disability and if you qualify for that, there is an additional 2 yr. waiting period for medicare. SSI is supplemental income for poverty level people on disability. A lot of people die or have to file bankruptcy in the interim.

    • Will I have to pay taxes on my company paid health plan worth about 15000.00 will this be on my w-2 to the goverment.

      • Hi Mike,
        You do not have to pay taxes on the health benefits your company pays. The tax penalty is only for those who are uninsured, are required to purchase insurance, and don’t purchase insurance by 3/31/2014. You will see the amount your employer paid on your W-2. This is for reporting purposes to the IRS only.
        If you have more health insurance questions please feel free to visit TurboTaxAnswerXchange.com
        Thank you,
        Lisa Greene-Lewis

  23. What will people who are considered below the poverty line do here in Florida since the governor and the legislature opted out of the federal Medicaid program?

    What do we tell people who find themselves in this category in Florida? Pleae answer me by email. Thanks, Mel Toadvine, Fort Myers, Fla.

  24. I am a Verizon management retiree. Verizon benefits told me my son and daughter who are 23 and 21 years old respectively are not covered under my Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance unless they attend college full time. This doesn’t seem consistent with what I have read and look to forward to your interpretation, Thank You.

    • Paul:

      My 21 year old son was just dropped today by Verizon as he graduated from Community College in 2013.

      Here is a piece of a WSJ article: “Thanks to a little-noticed clause in a 1996 law, retiree-only health plans are exempt from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that went into effect last month.

      That means the rule requiring health plans to extend dependent coverage to age 26, regardless of financial dependency, student status, employment or marital status, doesn’t apply to millions of retirees’ health benefits.”

      Here is the link to the article:

    • January 30, 2014

      Hi Paul,

      I too am a verizon retiree and just received notice from VZ stating the same, which will impact my 24 year old son. Is that true based on your research?

      Steve Strang

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