Posts Tagged ‘Guarantee Coverage’

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Top 5 Lessons Learned for Covered California’s Second Enrollment

Top 5 Lessons Learned for Covered CA’s 2nd Enrollment

We are on the eve of Covered CA’s 2nd open enrollment period, consumers be ready. Here is a list of the top 5 lessons learned from the first open enrollment period that will help those that need to buy health insurance during the 2nd open enrollment:covered-ca-head-banging-guy

No. 1) Use an agent. You will need one.

I realize that sounds like a shameless plug, but the facts from Covered CA’s first enrollment strongly back up the value of certified agents, so much so that Covered CA is redoing its marketing plan to notify consumers of agents available in their area, via storefront, internet or telephone.

Health Insurance Subsidy on Form 1040

Kelley-Jensen2Health Insurance Subsidy on Form 1040 Much has been written about the premium tax credit or subsidies available to those that qualify.  Here are the most important things to know about the credit, including how it will probably look the first year it will be reported on form 1040, your federal income tax return. 1)    You must file a tax return to claim the credit.  A form 1040, not a form 1040NR (non-resident, sometimes filed using a PTIN). 2)    You cannot claim the credit if your filing status is married filing separately. 3)    You cannot be listed as a dependent on a tax return and claim the credit. 4)    You cannot claim the credit if you or your spouse is provided affordable coverage at work.  This means that if one taxpayer has affordable insurance at work , the entire family is not eligible for the credit, even if it is not affordable for the entire family.  (IRC §1.36B-2). 5)     The credit is NOT based on income reported on your paycheck or W-2, it is based on the adjusted gross income reported on your tax return, modified for any tax exempt income.  Click here for an example of a 2012 form 1040 to see where the number is on your tax return (pg1), (pg2). 6)    If you are self-employed, your health insurance deduction (see a sample 2012 form 1040 here) must be taken into account when estimating your AGI, be sure to ask a tax advisor about this. 7)    If your AGI will be different this year, or if it is too hard for you to estimate, you can take the credit when you file your tax return instead of monthly against premiums, or you can report changes in estimates as the year progresses. 8)    Click HERE for a chart of the income levels that qualify for the credit. 9)    For income tax purposes, a credit is better than a deduction.  A credit is a dollar for dollar reduction in your taxes, a deduction reduces your taxable income.  The premium tax credit you received as part of Obamacare is a big savings to your tax bill, but can only be taken to pay health insurance premiums. 10) If you have large health care expenses, those may be deductible, in addition to the credit, if you itemize your deductions.  Make it a habit to keep track of money you spend on health care and bring that information to a tax adviser. Lastly, the IRS will know if you have taken the credit to pay for health insurance premiums because the exchange will be reporting that information to both you and the IRS.  So, do not apply for the credit, use it to pay premiums and then not file a tax return. When the IRS receives a report about items of income, credits or deductions, they match it against the tax return filed.  When items do not match, they are sometimes flagged for follow up questions or audit, or sometimes the IRS will just issue a bill for differences. In cases where no tax return has been filed, the IRS will file one for you, in their favor.  Once they do that, it is up to the taxpayer to file an amended return and pay any penalties for late filing.  If you have never filed a tax return before, but would like to start for health insurance, consult a tax adviser or tax preparation service.

Test Your Knowledge of Health Care Reform

Kelley-Jensen2Author:  Kelley Filice Jensen

Last week marked the 3rd anniversary of health care reform, formally, The Affordable Care Act (ACA).   Where does the average American stand on the law?  Do they understand it?  Are there misconceptions?  Will they purchase affordable health insurance, in accordance with the individual mandate, or just stay uninsured?  Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF)  , a non-profit, non-partisan foundation that researches and produces health policy and health information in the United States and around the world, released a new Health Tracking Poll detailing America’s current knowledge, expectation, and opinion of The Affordable Care Act.

Why Not Just Stay Uninsured?

Kelley-Jensen2Author:  Kelley Filice Jensen

March 23, 2013  is the 3rd anniversary of The Affordable Care Act (ACA).
When the major portions of the law take effect in 2014, will the nearly
50 million people who are uninsured decide to purchase health insurance,
or chose to stay uninsured?  What incentive do they have to purchase
health insurance, why not just stay uninsured?

 

First, let’s recap the reasons people do without health insurance:

1)       It is too expensive

2)       They had  it in the past and nothing was covered anyway

We Can Help Get You Covered, California

Kelley-Jensen2Author: Kelley Filice Jensen

Health Care Reform has made health insurance affordable, available, reliable, and real, but health care reform has not made health insurance less confusing… to get the guidance you need, talk to an expert:  a health insurance agent that has years of experience with health plans and health carriers.  Health Care Reform is new, but health insurance is not, so put our knowledge, guidance, reassurance and expertise to work for you and your family.  Click here for a free quote. 

We can help you:

Covered California is CA’s Health Insurance Exchange

Kelley-Jensen2Author: Kelley Filice Jensen

An exchange, also known as Affordable Insurance Exchange, is a State-based, supervised, competitive market place where individuals and small businesses can purchase affordable health insurance. States can design an exchange catered towards its citizens. In addition, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides further details and guidance on the purpose, scope, and operation of each exchange. Think of an exchange as similar to the NASDAQ or The New York Stock Exchange.

New Terms from Health Care Reform

Author: Kelley Filice Jensen

Health Care Reform, Obamacare, The Affordable Care Act….all names used interchangeably for the most expansive change in the way Americans will pay for health care after 2014. Here are many new terms to come out of this law, here is a glossary of the pertinent ones.

Exchange –   A government run entity that will be a supervised marketplace for access to qualified health plans and subsidy.  The exchange will not issue insurance or offer a government-run health plan, they will merely serve as a marketplace for consumers to gain access to private insurance carriers’ qualified health plans.  Each state is expected to form its own exchange, and if it does not, the federal government will establish one on the state’s behalf.

Health Care Reform – The What, Who, Where, When, How and Why of the Individual Penalty

 

Author: Kelley Filice Jensen

By now it is not news that starting 2014 every American is expected to have Health Insurance or pay a penalty, formally called the individual shared responsibility penalty.  What?  Who?  Where?  When?  How?  And Why?

Get an update of Health Care Reform in 2013.

What is the penalty?

The penalty graduates as the law is phased in, as follows:

• 2014 = $95 per adult and $47.50 per child (up to $285 per family) or 1% of family income, whichever is greater

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