What is Obamacare?

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You might not know, but Obamacare, health care reform, and the Affordable Care Act all mean the same thing. They are the unofficial names for The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a national health care plan signed into law by President Obama that aims to provide the majority of Americans with access to affordable health care.

The bill was initially signed into law on March 23, 2010 and was upheld by a Supreme Court ruling on June 28, 2012.

Here are the most important things to know about Obamacare:

  • Obamacare requires that all Americans (with a few exceptions) enroll in a health insurance plan either through their employer, a private provider or through a state or federally assisted program by March 31, 2014. If you don’t enroll by that date, the government will impose a health care tax penalty on your 2014 tax return (the one you file in 2015).
  • The requirement to purchase health care does NOT impact your 2013 tax return.
  • If you already have health insurance, you don’t have to change a thing.
  • If you don’t have insurance, you’ll be able to shop for and purchase health insurance through the online Health Insurance Marketplace as soon as October 1, 2013. It’s a good idea to start getting informed about what exactly the Health Insurance Marketplace is and how it works.
  • If you can’t afford to buy health insurance, you may be eligible for financial assistance from the government to help pay for the cost, called a subsidy or a health care tax credit. To see if you’re eligible for a subsidy, check out this health care eligibility calculator.

TurboTax is here to help explain health care reform and how it affects you and your taxes, so that you can make the best decision for your health and finances.

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

11 responses to “What is Obamacare?”

  1. I have a complicated tax issue. I’m a legal immigrant, retired, disabled and on a company pension scheme that is taxed in the Country of source.
    The rest of my income is made up of workers comp social security from the UK that is non taxable. I do however pay property taxes here in the U.S.
    I do not qualify for medicaid as my income is just above the limit for a family of three.
    I need the health insurance because they’ve refused to sell it to me before due to pre-existing conditions. I can’t afford though to pay the full premium without a tax credit and obviously don’t want to pay taxes to two countries!
    Any ideas?
    Thank you.

  2. Obamacare;one big joke,Insurance Co. can refuse to claim,s with being held accountable,I can prove this statement,Ref;Cigna,Ins.

  3. three types of people complains about Obamacare…republicans,tea party people and the ones that claim not having enough income, those however go to their houses and have the biggest TV, Iphone and high speed internet…an SUV and go to the emergency rooms and get “free” medical care because can’t pay due to their income but you see them in there every week misusing the system that hard working people pay with their taxes.

  4. totally communist, that’s what this country is! Obama is the greatest anti-American that has ever had enough power to really do some damage. The U.S. is quickly being taken over from the inside and this president along with the previous idiot are the two biggest moles that have ever compromised this nation. These two men have done exactly what Hitler did: convinced an entire country that he was some sort of “leader”. unbelievable !!!!

  5. What is the formula for MAGI used in the ACA tax subsidy calculation? Is it just AGI or how do they “modify” it?

    Is the income/earnings estimate next year’s (2014), or this year’s (2013?)

    I guess the IRS decision for same-sex married couples makes us a household of 2 now? (California marriage 2008, California only residents this year and next)

    • Hi Jan,
      If your income is under the IRS income requirement to file taxes(about $10,000 per year in 2013), you will not have to purchase health insurance.

      You can still see if you are eligible for free or low cost health care through Medicaid.

      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

    • by allowing you to pay for the medical care you receive.Think about it, If many get a free ride the care will be much more expensive because the hospitals will have to dilute those expenses among those who pay!!!At least this way you pay part of it and the government will subsidize the difference and the cost will be controlled.Therefore the hospitals will not have to charge $300 for a cup for pills.

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