I do not know about your health insurance renewal for 2015, but my coverage went up in way up price and out of pocket costs. On the bright side, Gretchen and I can breathe easier now that I have maternity coverage should I become pregnant.
As you may have been reading of late, Obamacare is kicking in with a vengeance in 2015. Those delayed and hidden "sticks" (we have seen about all of the "carrots" it supposedly offers), may be hitting your (or your employer's) pocketbook sooner rather than later.
It is true.
If this is you, then expect a little surprise at tax time this year. After all, you may recall that mandate was ruled a "tax" by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Starting in 2014, all nonexempt U.S. citizens and permanent legal residents must maintain minimum essential health-insurance coverage.
This requirement is discussed in a recent Albuquerque Journal article titled “Tips help prep for improved finances.”
If you do not maintain the minimum essential health-insurance coverage it can mean a penalty by way of additional taxes. This penalty tax will start to be charged on 2014 individual income-tax returns—those that are due before April 15, 2015.
The IRS will assess the penalty based on the taxpayer’s income level.
According to the federal government’s website, www.healthcare.gov, individuals without health insurance coverage in 2014 will pay the higher of these two figures when filing their tax returns:
- One percent of their yearly household income. This will be calculated based on the amount above the tax-filing threshold, which is approximately $10,000 for an individual, but not in excess of the national average premium for a bronze-level health-insurance plan; or
- $95 per person and $47.50 for children under 18, not to exceed $285 per family.
But wait, there is more.
These penalties are set to increase for individuals and families who are not covered in 2015.
Keep that New Year's Resolution to get in shape and improve (not just maintain) your health.
It will be even more expensive to use the health care insurance you now have than before. [Gretchen is a CPA and has run the numbers for our own coverage.]
Beyond meeting the deductibles and co-pays, who knows who will be deciding what will be covered (or not covered) if you are sick or hurt - and whether there will be enough doctors to provide care, to include specialists?
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri) and to download free tools to help you organize your estate, visit my estate planning website.
Reference: Albuquerque Journal (December 28, 2014) “Tips help prep for improved finances”