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Times for mid-year update for Obamacare subsidies

By Times-Herald, Vallejo, Calif.
McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Aug. 22--If you're signed up for "Obamacare" and are getting a subsidy, the Health Insurance Marketplace needs to know if your life circumstances have changed so you can get the proper amount, Internal Revenue Service officials said.

Now is a good time to provide the update, they said.

If you're among the millions of Americans purchasing your health insurance through Covered California and are signed up for the advance premium payment tax credit that goes directly to your insurance company, changes in circumstances need to be reported as they happen, officials said. Reporting changes "will help people get the proper type and amount of financial assistance and will help them avoid getting too much or too little in advance," IRS officials said. "Receiving too much or too little in advance can affect your refund or balance due when they file their tax returns."

Now is the time for a mid-year premium tax credit checkup, they said.

Changes in circumstances that you should report to the Marketplace include:

--An increase or decrease in your income.

--Marriage or divorce.

--The birth or adoption of a child.

--Starting a job with health insurance.

--Gaining or losing your eligibility for other health care coverage.

--Changing your residence.

"Repayments of excess premium assistance may be limited to an amount between $400 and $2,500 depending on your income and filing status," officials said. "However, if advance payment of the premium tax credit was made but your income for the year turns out to be too high to receive the premium tax credit, you will have to repay all of the payments that were made on your behalf, with no limitation. Therefore, it is important that you report changes in circumstances that may have occurred since you signed up for your plan."

Changes in circumstances also may qualify you for a special enrollment period to change or get insurance through the Marketplace. In most cases, if you qualify, you will have 60 days to enroll following the change in circumstances. You can find information about special enrollment at HealthCare.gov. For more information on premium tax credit and other tax-related provisions of the health care law at IRS.gov/aca.

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(c)2014 Times-Herald (Vallejo, Calif.)

Visit Times-Herald (Vallejo, Calif.) at www.timesheraldonline.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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