November 1 2017

Health Insurance and Taxes

Alright, so we realize that health insurance news doesn’t exactly drive most people mad with desire. But something pretty big happened in health insurance recently, and we really thought you should know about it.

In fact, if you plan on filing your tax return next year (yeah ya do), this directly concerns you.

First, some brief background on the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Under the ACA, most Americans must buy health insurance each year. The fine for being uninsured—for going 3 full, consecutive months without health insurance—is either $695 or 2.5% of your annual salary. Whichever is higher. (So, for example, if you make $70K each year, it’s a $1,750 fine. No small thing…)

In reality, however, this penalty has been pretty loosely enforced, and there were even hints it might be removed altogether in 2018.

But then, the IRS dropped an absolute bombshell

Starting in 2018, the IRS says it will straight up reject any tax return lacking health insurance disclosure.

Meaning, if you plan on filing your tax returns in 2018, you must disclose whether you had health insurance or not. The big takeaway here is if you don’t / didn’t have health insurance and you want to file your tax return, you will pay the fine.

And, as part of this new reporting requirement, you may be liable to pay fines for any previous years you forewent health insurance.

(For more details on this, check out the IRS’s official statement.)

But here’s the good news, folks

1. If you didn’t have health insurance before, you’ll (presumably) have health insurance now! Okay, maybe that’s not, like, the best news ever. But having health insurance means you won’t have to worry about shelling out thousands of dollars if you get in an accident or get really sick. You’ll also get your tax return. And you won’t be thinking about that hefty fine.

2. You could qualify for financial assistance. If you make under $47,000 a year, you probably can get some financial help for your monthly premium (and that help can be pretty substantial). Reach out to our call center and see if you qualify.

3. There are a bunch of great options for simple, affordable health plans. If you’re under 30 and looking for a basic plan with a nicer price tag, look into a Catastrophic Plan. (Here’s what ours look like as an example.)

If you have any questions at all during open enrollment (from now until December 15th), feel free to give us a call: 844-451-4444

We’re happy to help.

-The Friday Team

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