Christmas is upon us, but you know what else is? The federal deadline to pay for exchange insurance that’s effective Jan. 1, 2014. Yes, that’s right. If you want health insurance through the federal government, you’ve got until Monday, Dec. 23, 2013, to apply and pay for it. Some insurance companies have delayed this deadline to Jan. 10, 2014 – but not all. So don’t wait – make sure you’re covered today.
Obamacare’s Individual Shared Responsibility Provision
Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, all individuals are required to have health insurance. This requirement is also known as the Individual Shared Responsibility Provision. If you’re uninsured, you’re likely to face a financial penalty. The individual mandate requirements may be a bit confusing, so here’s four frequently asked questions, adapted from the IRS’ Q&A on the Individual Shared Responsibility Provision, which may provide clarification for you.
- Do children have to have health insurance according to this provision?
Yes, it’s mandatory that every child have health insurance. If they do not, the individual who claims the child as a dependent on their federal tax forms will face a financial penalty.
- Are senior citizens required to have health coverage?
Yes. Senior citizens must have minimum essential coverage. If a senior citizen is enrolled in Medicare, he or she will have minimum essential coverage for every month they are enrolled.
- Are all individuals living in the United States required to have health care coverage?
All U.S. citizens are responsible for having health care coverage. All permanent residents and foreign nationals who are considered resident aliens for tax purposes are required to obtain coverage.
- Are there exemptions from the requirement to this provision?
Yes, you can be considered exempt if one of the following applies to you:
- If you’re a member of a religious sect that is recognized as opposed to accepting any insurance benefits, you’ll be considered exempt. Those who are Amish are an example
- If you’re a member of a recognized health care sharing ministry
- If you’re a member of a federally recognized Indian tribe
- If your income is below the minimum threshold for filing a tax return, then this provision doesn’t apply to you. To determine whether you’re required to file a federal tax return, use the IRS Interactive Tax Assistant (ITA)
- If you went without coverage for less than three months in a row during the year
- If the Exchange has proven that you’ve suffered a hardship that makes you unable to obtain health care coverage
- If you can’t afford coverage because the minimum amount you must pay is more than eight percent of your household income
- If you’re incarcerated
- If you’re not a U.S. citizen or national
If you need additional guidance or insight into whether or not you’re subject to the Individual Shared Responsibility Provision, contact Rea & Associates. Our team of Ohio tax professionals can assist you in determining whether you’re subject to this provision and can help point you in the right direction when it comes to obtaining coverage.
Author: Joe Popp, JD, LLM (Dublin office)