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  • MLCA

JANUARY 31 IS THE DEADLINE; DON’T PUT OFF ENROLLMENT

Don’t wait! You have until January 31 to sign up for health insurance and avoid a fine at tax time. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires individuals to maintain minimum essential coverage or pay a penalty for each month they are uninsured. If you have no health insurance coverage for three months or more in 2017, you will pay a penalty when you file your taxes in 2018. This could mean you get less of a refund, or you may have to pay more to the IRS. The penalty for not having health insurance in 2016 and 2017 is calculated two different ways: as a percentage of your household income or per person. You’ll pay whichever is higher.

Percentage of income:

2.5% of household income

Maximum: Total yearly premium for the national average price of a Bronze plan sold through the Marketplace

 

Per person:

$695 per adult

$347.50 per child under 18

Maximum: $2,085 The penalty in 2016 serves as the baseline. The health insurance penalty in 2017 will continue to be the same as in 2016 with one difference. The flat dollar amount will be adjusted for inflation and calculated based on the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA). People who have coverage only part of the year will pay the penalty for each month that they are without coverage. The penalty is pro-rated for the number of months without coverage; for each month a person goes without coverage, he or she will be assessed 1/12th of the annual penalty. If you had a health insurance plan through the state Marketplace in 2016, watch your mail for an important tax document called Form 1095-A. This form is necessary when you file your federal income taxes. You also can download and print a copy from your Marketplace account on HealthCare. gov. Doublecheck your Form 1095-A for things like the start and end date of your coverage and the number of people in your household to make sure the information is correct. If you think any information is wrong, visit HealthCare. gov/taxes to find out how to get a corrected Form 1095-A. Avoid the penalty at tax time! The health insurance plan on the Marketplace change every year, so check out your options. The open enrollment period ends on January 31.

 

If you have questions about signing up or want to talk about your options, call me at the Maine Lobstermen’s Association office at 207-967-4555 or send an email to alisha@mainelobstermen.org

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