January 31, 2016 is the last day to sign up or change health insurance coverage for the 2016 year.
Last year the issue with signing up was the computer system not working; this year it is all the people who didn’t fill out form 8962 Premium Tax Credit or received an incorrect 1095-A. In 2014 when people signed up for health insurance they estimated what their income would be for the next year. Based on that amount they received a subsidy. In order to receive a subsidy this year they were required to fill out form 8962 regardless if they were required to file taxes or not. The IRS has a document that covers this: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p5201.pdf The IRS sent out letters and worked with states to get as many people as possible help to file that form.
It can be daunting to fill out taxes without assistance and/or without some sort of tax preparation software. All of the forms for the Health Insurance tax issues were included in the “file for free” software available online; or in purchased tax software. The IRS has on their site the list of where to get free help for filing returns for qualifying individuals:
Recently the Affordable Care Act has been in the news as the legislator voted to repeal ObamaCare. At least that is what all the headlines said. Actually they voted to repeal key sections of the bill:
- Phased out funding for subsidies to individuals with incomes between 100 and 400 percent of the poverty line
- Repeals the expansion of Medicaid including:
- After 2017 hospitals and states may no longer elect to provide Medicaid services to individuals duing a presumptive eligibility period
- benefits for certain individuals whose income does not exceed 133 percent of the poverty line.
- Ended the increased Federal Medical Assistance Program for childless adults aand home and community-based attendant services on Dec. 31, 2017.
- Medicaid benchmark plans are no longer required to provide minimum essential health benefits
- Repeals the risk adjustment programs that appropriates funds to insurers to cover high risk individuals
- Restrict the federal government from operating Health Care exhanges
- Eliminate tax penalties for individuals who do not purchase health insurance and employers with 50 or more employees who do not provide insurance plans.
- Elimante taxes on medical devices and the “Cadilac tax” on the most expensive health care plans
- Repealed the tax on indoor tanning
- Eliminated the Medicare tax on income above a certain threshold. (Upper income individuals and families)
- Lowers the tax on distributions from Health Savings Accountss and Archer MSAs that are not used for medical expenses.
The bill was vetoed by President Obama.