Penalties – Obamacare

A key provision implemented under the ACA which requires most individuals to obtain a compliant health insurance coverage or to pay a tax penalty, started in 2014. Note that the ACA remains in force as of 2017.

Foreign nationals and expatriates residing or moving to the US, who maintain residency for 11 months or more, must abide by all provisions and mandates of the Affordable Care Act.


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How to Avoid penalties?

As mentioned above,  individuals  who do not obtain compliant health insurance coverage will be tax penalized. Companies providing Obamacare non-compliant coverage will also be tax penalized. To avoid paying penalties, it is recommended that you purchase and maintain health insurance coverage that meets Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC), such as the products Health Insurance Instantly offers together with  WellAway®.

Some expats may be exempt if

  • They cannot afford coverage
  • they have suffered a hardship that makes you unable to obtain coverage, or
  • they  don’t have to file a tax return because your income is below the tax filing threshold.

If a person is not exempt, They’ll need to obtain coverage or pay the penalty.

Persons who don’t get Obamacare compliant insurance will have to pay up. The penalty for not buying insurance for 2016 is either $695 per adult and $347.50 per child under 18, or 2.5% of the yearly household income, whichever is higher. Consumers who don’t qualify for an exemption on religious or other limited grounds will have to pay this penalty next year when they file their 2016 federal income tax return. (Those who go uninsured for no more than two consecutive months are not subject to the penalty.)

The attempt to repeal the ACA by President Trump failed in March 2017, and the ACA remains the law of the land. You will still need an ACA compliant insurance to be compliant.