Friday, August 09, 2013

Expats and Obama Care

It's becoming a topic of conversation again on Expat message boards since the Open Enrollment medical care programs open October 1st.   It clearly says on the website that Expats are exempt but gives no details on how to prove you live outside the US.   I even did a Live Chat on that site and the question was beyond her ability to answer.   I offered my email for a reply from a specialist but they can only reply by phone.   I somehow don't expect to get that call. is the National site but when you tell them what State you are "from" (IRS info) then you will most likely be sent to a State program site.  At least that's true for WA, OR and CA so I may have to deal with  I'm assuming these sites are only for people with no medical coverage or for those that want to shop for a cheaper solution.   People who are covered by an employer or have personal coverage probably shouldn't bother.

So we get back to how do your prove you live outside the US and to whom.   Since the only agency that can extract the penalty fees is the IRS then I guess we'll deal with them.   Problem there is to be an Expat the IRS says you should have a "Tax Home" other than the US or monthly proof you are outside the country.   The IRS site also says nothing about medical care penalties yet (I'll check further) so this is starting to sound what INM and Aduana went through when the Immigration laws changed.  Maybe they will work out something less convoluted in the future.

The enrollment period starts in October and ends in March and if you miss that period you have to wait for the 2015 signup.   The fee/fine for not having insurance in 2014 is 1% of your yearly income or $95 per person for the year, whichever is higher. The fee increases every year. In 2016 it is 2.5% of income or $695 per person, whichever is higher.   Pay that fee and you are still not covered.

What do I find searching for IRS and Obama Care but an article that last month The House passed a bill that blocks the IRS from enforcing Obama Care.   The plot thickens.

House votes 232-185 to block the IRS from enforcing ObamaCare

The House voted Friday to prevent the IRS from enforcing any aspect of ObamaCare, a bill meant to exact revenge against an agency that Republicans say is incapable of neutral enforcement of the law.

Members approved the Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act in a 232-185 vote. Four Democrats supported the bill along with every Republican.


norm said...

The house seems to have forgotten the way our system is set up; they need to get their agenda past the Senate and the President to be able to set policy. Mid terms should be interesting.

sparks said...

For sure but I sure have concerns about the IRS handling this. Seems very easy to fall between the cracks. How to attach poof to an electronic filing. I can imagine a couple hundred thousand scanned visa copies send in

sparks said...

Message I got from the Vallarta consulate (website link is above)

Due to the fact this is a Health and Human Services Program… you will need to consult the following website for information. It is not within the scope of activities of this Consular Agency.

Steve Cotton said...

At least, this is one bureaucratic battle I will not be sucked into. This is the year I join the other gray heads at the Medicare buffet.

Felipe Zapata said...

I am assuming that being of Medicare age will do the trick. I am, I believe, in the basic, free Medicare coverage. I have not signed up for any Medicare coverage that requires extra money because I will never use Medicare.

Also, I imagine the fact that my yearly 1040 has my Mexican address. I have no U.S. address.

With luck, the entire Obamacare mess will collapse into itself like a black hole, no racism intended.

sparks said...

As far as I know that's all it takes .... but if you need both A & B or if A is enough. I have A only as required

sparks said...

Spoken like a true anti-socialist

Something had to be done about run away medical inflation

The construction of the house finished in April 2011 and I'm pretty much settled in. As of March 2014 I'm in preparation for rain mode for this coming summer. That includes sealing and painting things and dealing with drainage issues from last year.

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