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Tax Penalties Will Increase for 2016 – Get Covered with BCBSNC

Sunday, October 25th, 2015

Lady using calculator, stressed

The Affordable Care Act mandated that all United States taxpayers purchase ACA approved, qualified health plans or pay a tax penalty when reconciling taxes.  This is often referred to as the individual mandate.  The individual mandate went into effect at the beginning of January 2014 and continues each year. The penalty for not having coverage is paid on your Federal Income Tax Returns for each full month you or a family member does not have health insurance (unless you have an exemption) and is based on your Modified Adjusted Gross Income.  In addition, the penalty increased in 2015 and is increasing again in 2016.  (more…)

Last Chance for 2015 – Federal Marketplace SEP Ending April 30th

Friday, April 24th, 2015

last chance or opportunity time on clock is ticking away now orThe Special Enrollment Period the federal Marketplace granted for those individuals who did not meet the February 15th deadline for Open Enrollment is ending April 30th.  This could be your last chance to enroll in a health insurance policy until January, 2016.  This Special Enrollment Period is not for everyone, but if it applies to you, you could have one last opportunity to get insured.

In an effort to enroll as many Americans as possible, the federal government installed this Special Enrollment Period for people who meet the following three criteria:  1) you were not insured in 2014; 2) you had to pay a tax penalty when you filed your 2014 taxes; 3) you will attest to the fact that you were unaware of the tax penalty or did not fully understand the implications of that penalty.  If these criteria apply to you, you have 6 more days to complete an application for health insurance with the federal Marketplace.  Keep in mind, your application must be completed and submitted by midnight April 30th, meaning you have selected a health plan and your application has been sent to Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC.  Depending on your effective date, however, you may still have a period of time before you will need to make your first premium payment.

Once this Special Enrollment Period ends, your opportunity to enroll in health insurance becomes much more limited.  Under the rules of the Affordable Care Act, for the remainder of 2015 you will need to have a Qualifying Life Event in order to purchase health insurance.  If you do not have a Qualifying Life Event, you will have to wait until Open Enrollment 2016 begins in November and you will not have health coverage until January 2016.  Also, don’t forget that the tax penalty, sometimes called the “individual mandate,” for being uninsured is increasing in 2015 and instead of paying $95 per person or 1% of your household income (whichever is greater), next year you will pay $325 per person or 2% of your household income (whichever is greater).  The tax penalty will increase again for 2016.

The bottom line is it doesn’t pay to be uninsured.  Not only are you running the risk of incurring potentially devastating health care bills, you are also not able to maintain your health and wellness through regular preventive care physicals and health maintenance.  If you are one of the many Americans who are still able to enroll in health coverage under the Special Enrollment Period ending April 30th, take advantage of this opportunity to get insured!  Instead of throwing money away on tax penalties, make an investment in your wellness and peace of mind.  Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina is pleased to provide the residents of NC with quality health coverage at a competitive price.  Don’t wait another minute!

For more information on Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina health insurance coverage, the Marketplace and healthcare gov  to apply for your subsidy, please visit our website at www.nchealthplans.com or call our toll free number 888-765-5400 and speak with one of our experienced and professional agents.  Let us help you navigate through the Health Care Reform changes in accordance with the new regulations of The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obama care.

 

 

 

 

 

How Can I get an Exemption from Tax Penalties?

Friday, February 27th, 2015

IRS tax auditor man sitting at desk with business cardAs most Americans know, under the Affordable Care Act you are now required by law to carry qualifying health coverage or pay a tax penalty.  This penalty is sometimes referred to as the “individual shared responsibility payment,” or the “individual mandate.”  In some cases, however, you may qualify for what is called a “health coverage exemption.”

First and foremost, if you are covered by any plan that meets the ACA guidelines of minimum essential coverage , you will not have to pay a tax penalty.  Take a moment and learn what qualifies as minimum essential coverage under the Affordable Care Act Law.  Being properly insured is the safest way to avoid any penalties.

If you did not have ACA approved coverage for all or part of 2014, however, you may still qualify for an exemption from the tax penalty.

Below are some examples of potential exemptions that might apply to you:

  • You are uninsured for only 1 or 2 consecutive months of the year.
  • The lowest-priced coverage available to you through either an individual or job-based plan would cost more than 8% of your household income.
  • You do not file a tax return based on the fact that your income is below the level that requires filing.
  • You are a member of a federally recognized tribe.
  • You are a member of a recognized health care sharing ministry.
  • You are a member of a recognized religious sect with religious objections to insurance, including Social Security and Medicare
  • You are incarcerated
  • You are not lawfully present in the United States
  • You are a United States citizen living abroad
  • You qualify for a hardship exemption

You can learn how to apply for any of the above exemptions and find the forms you need by visiting the federal Marketplace.

Once again, the easiest and smartest way to ensure you do not incur a tax penalty is to obtain an ACA approved health plan.

For more information on Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina health insurance coverage, the Marketplace and healthcare gov  to apply for your subsidy, please visit our website at www.nchealthplans.com or call our toll free number 888-765-5400 and speak with one of our experienced and professional agents.  Let us help you navigate through the Health Care Reform changes in accordance with the new regulations of The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obama care.

All information contained herein is subject to change, from time to time, if the Federal Government or Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina implement any new updates and/or changes that can impact information provided in this blog.