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Tax Tales: I’m Self Employed AND Have Affordable Health Care

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You might say I’m an early adopter – I’ve worked in the computer industry for a long time and bought my first computer in 1990. I was also one of the early fans of genealogy before that became so popular, tracing my ancestors all the way back to the 1600’s. So when the Affordable Care Act came out last year, I decided to purchase health insurance right away- the first time it was required.

I’m self-employed so I was excited that affordable health care became an option. Before purchasing my Marketplace plan, I was insured through an individual carrier that cost $475 per month with a $10,000 deductible. My policy didn’t even cover doctor visits and my deductible was anything but affordable.

When it came time for Marketplace Open Enrollment, I took my time researching plans. I spoke with someone before choosing a policy during Open Enrollment. The person I talked to was so helpful to me in educating me about what my options were – she even recommended I check with my regular providers to make sure they would accept the Marketplace insurance. I landed on a policy that cost $40 per month, had a $1,250 deductible, and only a $5 copay for doctor visits – a major improvement. Not only was this a plan that was actually affordable, it allowed me to save a significant amount of money I would have spent on various medical costs. For example, purchasing two inhalers for my allergies use to cost me $96 and now it costs $6.

I was offered a subsidy for my plan based on my income and elected to use the entire subsidy upfront. I’ve been self-employed for a long time and I have a really good idea of what I make month to month. When I reconciled my income on my tax return, I found I came within $100 of my projected income. This made filing my taxes even easier than I had expected.

As an early adopter, I’ve been using TurboTax since you had to purchase it on a CD. My information saves year to year which is one of my favorite features. This year was really no different. I simply had one extra form — the 1095-A to report my Marketplace insurance. TurboTax pretty much did the rest of the work after I entered the additional information.

While I didn’t get a tax refund this year because my estimates were so precise, the money I’ve saved and can apply to my retirement is priceless. Needless to say, I’m a fan of the Affordable Care Act and with my health care coverage. I now have a great price on my policy and I have a great policy that I can actually afford to use.

– Joani McGinnis

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