Sunday, September 29, 2013

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Impact of Obamacare (ACA) for US Citizens Abroad

aca

Thanks for contacting Health Insurance Marketplace Live Chat. Please wait while we connect you to someone who can help…

Thanks for contacting us. My name is Agent C. How may I assist you?

I am a US Citizen who's primary residence is outside the United States (an ex-patriot).  Am I required to enroll in Obamacare / an Affordable Care Act health plan or health coverage marketplace?

I would be happy to help you with that, first may I please ask what (US) state you reside in

Hello Agent C, I am a US Citizen WHO DOES NOT LIVE IN THE UNITED STATES.  Am I required to enroll?

I understand, I am required to ask that just in case you move back (since the start of our chat???). One moment while I look for this info…

If you are a U.S. citizen living in a foreign country, you are not required to get health coverage under the Affordable Care Act. If you're uninsured and living abroad, you don't have to pay the fee (which is not a fee but a tax, because if it would be a fee it would be unconstitutional) that other uninsured U.S. citizens may (may, it’s optional or might change depending on the weather?) have to pay.

Thank you.  Just for reference, is there a particular regulation I can refer to, to share with my accountant or the IRS?  An actual regulation ID or something like that?

Yes on the heatlhcare.gov website there information is provided there under the "General Eligibility Requirements".

(I look around the website for such a page, unable to find.  Finally I use the search feature, and when putting in the full name I get a very short page of “requirements” with no legal or regulatory references…)

U.S. citizens living outside the U.S.

U.S. citizens living in a foreign country are not required to get health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act. If you're uninsured and living abroad, you (also) don't have to pay the fee (penalty tax, as a fee would be unconstitutional, but calling it that’s ok as long as it’s regulated like a tax in the 2,000 page law book) that other uninsured U.S. citizens may (may, how can I get into the may not category – oh yeah, work for a congressman) have to pay.

Generally, health insurance coverage in the Marketplace covers health care provided by doctors, hospitals, and medical services within the United States. If you're living abroad, it's important to know this before you consider buying Marketplace insurance. (And there’s no option for [not in the U.S.], these plans only work for STATES, doesn’t even work for U.S. territories.)

So if you’re a U.S. citizen living abroad, such as many U.S. citizens in Israel, it appears Obamacare does not impact you.  Why not, or what law or regulation says that… nobody, including these experts, knows.  How to specify this on your 2013 tax form, who knows?

1 comments:

MAOZ said...

Ex-pat Americans (and those associated with them one way or another) might want to check out other issues as well, such as FBAR and FATCA -- one very interesting site where these are discussed is www.isaacbrocksociety.ca.

Forewarned is forearmed.

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