Obama Buckles Down on the Uninsured with Aggressive Health Care Tax Penalties

Are you Uninsured in the U.S.?

You could be hit with the new, stronger penalties the government has put into action. Two years ago, the Affordable Care Act was put into action, urging millions of people in the U.S., both citizens and expats, to purchase a healthcare plan in order to avoid tax penalties. While many people had found it far less expensive to pay a penalty in lieu of enrolling in a health care plan, things have DRASTICALLY changed.

According to a new analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation, individuals who went without insurance in early 2015, will face an average household penalty of $969 in 2016. This is 47% increase over the average estimated penalty of $661 for 2015. The average household penalty for will total to $1,450 for uninsured people who are not eligible for any financial assistance.

The law and calculation is as follows:

  1. A flat dollar amount equal to $695 per adult plus $347.50 per child, up to a maximum of $2,085 for the family.
  2. 5% of family income in excess of the 2015 income tax filing thresholds ($10,300 for a single person and $20,600 for a family).

The only option on the government’s exchange program that is less than the penalty is the “bronze” level of an insurance policy. This option is only available to those who qualify for premium subsidies (low income individuals) and these plans come with high deductibles.

As the New York Times put it, “the government will be far less accommodating than it was in the past.” This year, the administration announced that there will not be an extra enrollment period before April 15th tax time, so you need to be sure to purchase an ACA compliant plan before heading to the U.S.

Tax time will be more complicated and the individuals at H&R Block are preparing for it. “The era of leniency with the Affordable Act is coming to an end,” said Mark Ciaramitaro, H&R Block’s vice president for taxes and health care, according to the Kansas City Star.

For expatriates coming to the U.S. for an extended period of time, a WellAway product is the best option. We offer a wide range of ACA compliant products that are catered to the needs of a foreigner, residing in the United States. To avoid tax penalties or any other unsavory repercussions that come with having a non-ACA compliant plan, please contact us. We would be happy to guide you through the process of purchasing the right coverage.

We offer a top-notch network of doctors and hospitals that are available to you. We also offer a concierge service with knowledgeable staff to help you make doctors’ appointments as well as navigate the complicated health care system to avoid any additional costs that can sometimes occur.