ACA Marketplace Enrollment Solutions Provides Tips On How Americans Can Avoid Paying Tax Penalties Mandated Under The Affordable Care Act

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With the end of Open Enrollment period quickly approaching, it is vital for individuals who have not enrolled in the Health Care Marketplace to purchase a plan and avoid being penalized on their 2015 tax returns.

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Unfortunately many non or under-insured Americans are not aware that they will be subject to higher tax penalties if they remain without essential coverage by the close of the 2015 Open Enrollment Period

“If an individual or their dependents went without coverage for three or more consecutive months in 2014 and did not qualify for an exemption, they will be required to pay a penalty with their 2014 tax return filed in 2015,” explained Robert Dial, Chief Compliance Officer, ACA Marketplace Enrollment Solutions (ACAenroll.com).

The multilingual certified and licensed ACAenroll.com agents can assist individuals to enroll in coverage to avoid penalties, also known as the “shared responsibility payment”. According to data released in December 2014 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human services, 87% of enrollees who selected a plan through HealthCare.gov in the first month of Open Enrollment received financial assistance with their premiums (1). This positive statistic exemplifies why uninsured Americans need to act now to obtain insurance before the Open Enrollment Period ends so that they do not become subject to shared responsibility payment.

Dial continued, “If they wait until the end of Open Enrollment, February 15th, to file their taxes, went without coverage in 2014, and still remain without minimum essential coverage, they will be penalized on both their 2014 and 2015 tax returns. Unfortunately many non or under-insured Americans are not aware that they will be subject to higher tax penalties if they remain without essential coverage by the close of the 2015 Open Enrollment Period.”

The shared responsibility payment increased from 2014 to 2015 and will increase again in 2016 to as much as 2.5% of household taxable income. Below is a breakdown of the shared responsibility payment formula according to Health Insurance Marketplace website, updated Jan 2015. (2).

2014 Shared Responsibility Payment For Not Having Coverage
If an individual did not have coverage in 2014, they will pay the HIGHER of these two amounts when they file their 2014 federal tax return:

  •     1% of their yearly household income. (Only the amount of income above the tax-filing threshold, about $10,000 for an individual, is used to calculate the penalty.) The maximum penalty is the national average premium for a bronze plan.
  •     $95 per person for the year ($47.50 per child under 18). The maximum penalty per family using this method is $285.

2015 Shared Responsibility Payment For Not Having Coverage
If an individual does have coverage in 2015, they will pay the HIGHER of these two amounts:

  •     2% of their yearly household income. (Only the amount of income above the tax-filing threshold, about $10,000 for an individual, is used to calculate the penalty.) The maximum penalty is the national average premium for a bronze plan.
  •     $325 per person for the year ($162.50 per child under 18). The maximum penalty per family using this method is $975.

Dial further explained, “The individual must have insurance that qualifies as minimum essential coverage to avoid the tax penalty. Unfortunately many individuals have purchased plans that do not qualify as ACA essential health coverage. If the individual is covered by any of the following types of plans, they are considered covered under the health care law and don't have to pay a penalty.”

According to the Health Insurance Marketplace website, updated Jan 2015, health plans that qualify as minimum essential coverage include (3):

  •     Any Marketplace plan, or any individual insurance plan you already have purchased
  •     Any employer plan (including COBRA plans, with or without “grandfathered” status)
  •     Retiree health plans
  •     Medicare
  •     Medicaid
  •     The Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
  •     TRICARE (for current service members and military retirees, their families, and survivors)
  •     Veterans health care programs
  •     Peace Corps Volunteer plans
  •     Self-funded health coverage offered to students by universities for plan or policy years that begin on or before Dec. 31, 2014.

Dial added, “The shared responsibility payment will be collected when the individual files their federal income tax return for 2014 in 2015 and again on their 2015 tax return in 2016. If the shared responsibility payment is not paid, the IRS will deduct the amount of the penalty from any future tax refund(s).”

ACAenroll.com agents and A-Safe Haven Get Covered Illinois in-person counselors will be working together at ACAenroll.com’s Bedford Park headquarters, 6640 S. Cicero, Bedford Park, IL, to assist individuals to enroll in the Health Care Marketplace weekdays 8 am – 8 pm; Saturday 9 am – 3 pm and Sunday 9 am – 3 pm during the remainder of the Open Enrollment Period. Walk-ins are welcome or interested applicants can call 1-800-342-0631.

With the dramatic penalty increase for not having health insurance, it is critical all Americans obtain qualified health insurance. ACAenroll.com licensed insurance professionals have a wealth of experience to guide individuals and assist them in selecting a health insurance policy that meets their health needs, is affordable, and protects them from hefty penalties.

Sources:
(1) http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2014pres/12/20141230a.html
(2) https://www.healthcare.gov/fees-exemptions/fee-for-not-being-covered/
(3) https://www.healthcare.gov/fees-exemptions/plans-that-count-as-coverage/

About ACAMES:
ACA Marketplace Enrollment Solutions (ACAenroll.com) is a national enrollment firm specializing in the Health Insurance Marketplace and the Senior Product Market. ACA Marketplace Enrollment Solutions is not affiliated with any governmental agency. We work with consumers to determine their subsidy eligibility, review benefits and plans that will meet their healthcare needs and get them enrolled for coverage. We offer opportunities for producers to have access to our carriers on a national level. Our Call Center is staffed with multi-lingual and licensed health insurance agents who also are certified on the exchange. The company’s website http://www.ACAenroll.com and our Call Center staff are available to assist enrollees through the entire enrollment process. Go to http://www.ACAenroll.com or contact 1-800-342-0631 for more information.

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