The ACA Mandate Clock is Ticking

You have until Match 31, 2014 to enroll and pay for health insurance meeting requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), nee Obamacare.

If your household income is low you may qualify for healthcare provided by your state…Medicaid. However, if you are not a head of household, or single with very low income you may fall through the cracks…no Medicaid and no tax credit help to pay health insurance premiums. But because our Federal government is benevolent you will not be forced to pay a penalty tax for not owning health insurance in that circumstance.

In 2014, the penalty tax for an individual is the greater of $95.00 or 1% of income above the income tax filing threshold. Starting in 2015 the penalty tax shoots up like a rocket.

Take heart. You may be exempt from paying the penalty tax if:

You earn too little to even file an income tax return…
You qualify for a hardship exemption…
You belong to a qualifing religious group…
You are a member of a health care sharing ministry,,,
You are presently in prison…
You work/live full time in a qualifying foreign country…
Plus several additional catagories

What does ACA mean when it refers to “household income”? My reading of that is all wages, salaries, tips and other income from ALL sources, less qualified expenses, generated by everybody living in a household…..On an income tax return form 1040, see line 37, “Adjusted Gross Income”…that’s your household income.

If you miss the 3/31/2014 enrollment cut-off, you must wait for the next enrollment period, starting in November 15, 2014, until you can apply for ACA health insurance. There are circumstances allowing you to enroll after the 3/31/2014 cut-off, so talk to your health insurance broker/agent if you need more information.

Carpe Diem