With the new health insurance requirement, 2014 was the first tax season that Americans had to report their health coverage status on their tax returns. While some individuals opted to pay the penalty, others decided to seek out an affordable health care plan. One of our customers, Wintila Moreno, was able to purchase health insurance for the first time through Covered California. Not only did her plan fit all of her health needs, she was finally able to find insurance that was affordable. Here’s what Wintila had to say about her experience:
TurboTax: Hi Wintila, can you tell us a little bit about yourself.
Wintila: I’m 30 years old and work as a paralegal and attend law school part-time. I currently live in La Puente, California, just east of Downtown Los Angeles. Because I live in California, I purchased affordable health insurance through Covered California.
TT: You just mentioned Covered California. Do you mind expanding on your current health care situation?
W: Sure. Before the Affordable Care Act (ACA), I was uninsured and found insurance to be out of reach. I knew from watching the news that this year I might be penalized for going uninsured. So in 2014, I was finally able to find affordable health insurance through Covered California. It was a huge help. The penalty was definitely one of the main reasons I decided to look into my options on Covered California. Even though I didn’t qualify for a subsidy, the plan I chose was still affordable.
TT: That’s great. How did you determine what type of plan to purchase?
W: I actually went to a local Covered California office to speak to someone in person and assess my options. I’m glad I did this because it made the process much simpler. After speaking to a CC representative, I decided to purchase a Silver HMO level plan that fit my health needs.
TT: Was there a reason you chose to purchase health insurance versus paying the penalty?
W: Health insurance is something I have always wanted. I want to live a healthy life and see my doctor when needed. I figured why pay a penalty on something I actually wanted? I’m glad I did too because I was really surprised at how affordable the plans were.
TT: Let’s turn to taxes now. What has been your experience with filing taxes?
W: This year I was a bit worried because I began working full time, making my income more challenging to report. TurboTax, however, made that transition really easy. It was still so simple to file my taxes – despite my income and health insurance changes! TurboTax walked me through the process step-by-step and the ACA questions on TurboTax were straightforward and easy to navigate, which made the whole process a lot smoother. TurboTax explained things on a comprehensible level, making it easy to understand. I didn’t feel the need to use outside sources for help.
TT: Last question – did you get a refund?
W: I did! I used it to pay off one credit card, applied a portion to another credit card, and placed the rest in savings.