Under an Executive order signed by President Trump on January 20, 2017, he gave federal bureaucracies the discretion and authority to waive any provision of the Affordable Care Act that might impose a fiscal burden on individuals and families. Two of the most prominent fiscal burdens are the repayment of excess Advance Premium Tax Credits and the Shared Responsibility Payment also known as the individual mandate penalty for not having health insurance.
California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones slammed President Trump’s Executive Order relaxing enforcement of the Affordable Care Acts provisions as potentially destabilizing to the health insurance market.
With all the discussion about congress repealing the Affordable Care Act, there is confusion over what exactly is an Obamacare health plan. Some people think the federal government is dictating the type of health plans that must be sold to individuals and families. It is up to each state to set the rules for their health insurance plans. The federal government under the regulations of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) stipulates what type of health plans are eligible for the Premium Tax Credits that make health insurance affordable for individuals and families.
Some individuals and families who purchased their health insurance through a government exchange like Healthcare.gov or Covered California may be subject to the Penalty for Underpayment of Estimated Tax. The underpayment penalty is triggered when the federal income tax due is less than 90% of the previous year’s tax liability. If a tax household received thousands of dollars of the monthly Advance Premium Tax Credit (APTC) subsidy to lower their health insurance premiums, but earned too much taxable income to actually qualify for the Premium Tax Credit, the tax payer has to repay the entire subsidy. This repayment amount could easily trigger the underpayment penalty.
While Covered California does a great job of marketing their services as an individual and family health insurance marketplace, the ultimate connection of reporting health insurance coverage to the IRS is not a central part of Covered California consumer education.
Because of all the rhetoric from Republican Presidential contenders about repealing Obamacare I’ve fielded many calls from people wondering if Covered California will survive a Republican President. The fear instilled by the shrill comments of conservative politicians that hate the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is that families who rely on the premium assistance provided by Obamacare through Covered California will suddenly end if a Republican is elected President.
At the end of June 2015 the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that they had boosted the reimbursement for high cost health care claims to health insurance companies participating in the ACA reinsurance program from 80% to 100% for 2014. The increase in coverage resulted from fewer requests for coverage of high […]
Two Supreme Court opinions involving the Affordable Care Act and gay marriage have the net effect of uniting the states to act as one country. The tenth amendment to the constitution gives a fair amount of power to the states to enact laws that can directly conflict or undermine national policy set by the federal […]
Publication 974, released by the IRS in March 2015, is a fairly comprehensive review of the ACA health insurance premium tax credit rules. Its release is long overdue as many Americans have struggled to understand how the Advance Premium Tax Credits (APTC) afforded by the ACA interact with their federal taxes. Publication 974 addresses many different […]
Numerous individuals with income below the ACA threshold to receive tax credits must weigh the consequences of selling assets in order to be eligible for the tax credits to purchase a private plan through a Marketplace exchange like Covered California. The prospect of selling retirement assets early in order to qualify for affordable health […]