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Understanding the Affordable Care Act
for the Healthcare Rollout
There is no doubt a lot of you out there are confused and dismayed at having to deal with Obamacare and how to get signed up without a lot of hassle and confusion, Heck, I'm struggling with this too. However, TurboTax is here to shed some light on the subject, and, offer up to us some undeniably great support venues where we can get our questions answered, and meet our health care requirements.
TurboTax Health Care Assistant
Our interview today is with “Lisa Greene-Lewis Lead CPA with TurboTax” covering the confusing questions that no doubt, keep us all on edge.
Through this interview and the TurboTax Online Health Care Hub, we hope to lower your stress level by clarifying some of those burning questions you have been struggling to understand.
Should you still need additional guidance beyond our interview here, you can visit the TurboTax AnswersXChange to get the additional support needed for making the best decisions possible to fit your individual and family needs.
TurboTax Obamacare Interview
PrepareIncomeTaxes.Com (PIT) Good morning Lisa, thank you for granting us this interview, our readers have many questions about how the new Affordable Care Act (ACA) will effect them and how to comply with the requirements and avoid penalties.
Lisa Greene-Lewis Lead CPA with TurboTax (LGL) Your welcome, Our goal here is to educate you and answer any questions that consumers coming to your website may have because what were already seeing is that there are a lot of people that have questions about Obamacare and the (ACA). Today we would like to get content out there that addresses those questions that are important to your readers. The goal is not just to answer questions but to offer some TurboTax resources where they can go to get help and find answers to additional questions they may have.
(PIT) What are the most important things that consumers need to know about the new Affordable health Care Act and how it will effect their taxes?
(LGL) The first thing consumers need to know is that starting in most Americans with a few exceptions will be required to have health insurance or they may face a penalty. Secondly, if your already insured, for instance through your employer or Medicaid there in nothing you need to do. And third, the insurance marketplace is open as of October 1st where individuals can go online and compare health care options to see what fits into their health care needs and budget.
On the Affordable Care Act website at https://www.healthcare.gov/ consumers can see if they qualify for health coverage through the Health Care Marketplace and whether their eligible for a subsidy, also known as a tax credit to help them pay for health insurance. Individuals may also be eligible for Medicaid which may be free, or low cost.
Tax credits, these may be applied to eligible consumer's insurance premiums starting in January to help those who qualified for them by applying these credits toward their insurance coverage. These tax credits are reconciled on their taxes when they file their taxes in 2017.
(PIT) Can those who have pre-existing conditions that have been denied coverage get insurance through the Health Care Marketplace, and if so, will they be charged more due to the pre-existing condition?
(LGL) That is one of the provisions with Obamacare is that they can not penalize people for pre-existing conditions and they are required to provide consumers with minimal essential insurance that is not influenced by any pre-existing conditions that you may have. However, they may charge a higher premium to consumers that smoke.
The Marketplace offer four levels of plans including the Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum to choose from depending on the amount of coverage you would like to purchase. These plans are influenced by consumer participation in health care payments which directly relate to deductibles.
(PIT) How does this effect our choices in doctors?
(LGL) Some of the same private health care insurance providers will provide health benefits through the Marketplace, but specific health insurance participation will depend on which providers signed contracts with the Department of Health and Human Services in your individual state..
The TurboTax Life Events Advisor
(PIT) What penalties are consumers subject to if they don't comply with their health care coverage requirements?
(LGL) Consumers are required to have insurance by March 31st or they will incur a penalty that will be assessed on their taxes filed in 2017. This penalty is $95 per individual and $47.50 per child and is capped out at $285 maximum penalty per year.
There is no penalty for gap in coverage less than 3 months within a single year. If you have life changes such as having a baby or getting married, you may be eligible to enroll in health coverage outside of the enrollment period ending March 31,.
(PIT) When will these insurance premiums purchased through the Health Care Marketplace start covering health care costs for Americans?
(LGL) Coverage begins in January
(PIT) How do Consumers go about accessing the Health Care Marketplace and applying for insurance?
(LGL) Consumers can access their state specific Health Care Marketplace online where they can get started by filling out an application for health care insurance.
(PIT) Does TurboTax offer support for health care questions online where they can go to get more specific matters that they have questions about answered?
(LGL) Yes there are so many question as we know so TurboTax has launched the TurboTax AnswerXchange which is the first social platform that is designed to give people personalized answers to their questions that are related to their health care.
This is actually a community input site with experts that answer questions. You can also use a calculator there that will allow you to determine if you are eligible for insurance through the Health Care Marketplace, and whether you are eligible for a tax credit. This tool will also help you determine if you need to do anything at all since many Americans already have insurance coverage that is acceptable under the ACA.
(PIT) Is there a waiting period on individuals with pre-existing conditions for the insurance to kick in on any pre-condition issues like many insurance companies now require?
(LGL) No there is no waiting period for coverage if you have a pre-existing condition.
(PIT) In today's world, prior to Obamacare, insurance rates can be effected by your age since older citizens generally see a doctor more often with health issues, is this also the case with Obamacare?
(LGL) Yes from what I have seen it can still effect the cost of insurance but you can also be eligible for a subsidy based on that, and they will not be denied insurance coverage. There may be a different price level for the subsidy that is offered in some cases.
(PIT) Lisa I thank you for your informative time and information, our readers I'm sure will find this article as well as the links here to the TurboTax Health Care pages very useful for enlightening themselves on how the new Affordable Health Care Act can work for them. Thank you so much for your time.
(LGL) Absolutely, always glad to help, and our TurboTax website is full of beneficial information about the new health car act and support for obtaining insurance. Have a nice day...