health care, your tax return — March 28, 2014

Calculate Your Health Care Costs

by Bob Williams

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The Affordable Care Act, the new health care law, reaches an important milestone very soon. Next Monday – March 31 – is the deadline for signing up for health care coverage using one of the marketplaces.

That means if you do not have health care coverage already lined up – whether through your employer or with insurance you’ve purchased – after the deadline you won’t be able to get coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace. When you get health insurance through the marketplace, you may be able to get advance payments of the premium tax credit that will immediately help lower your monthly premium.

Let’s Review

Just as a recap, remember that taxpayers who decide not to get health insurance coverage will be subject to a penalty on their 2014 income taxes (the return we do in 2015). While some taxpayers will be able to get an exemption from the penalty, you may need a little help to determine whether you qualify for the tax credit and to determine the consequences of not having coverage.

You’ve come to the right place.

To help you get started, we have some really nice calculators to help you get a picture of how the ACA might impact your tax landscape. We think it’s a very good idea to check them out now, before that Monday deadline slips up behind you.

First up on the list is the ACA Insurance Cost Calculator. Here, you can find out just how much you should expect to pay for health insurance coverage for you and your family.

It’s really just a short series of questions – some as simple as Yes or No – with the answer to the big question showing up at the bottom of the web page when the program has all the information it needs. But use this calculator first; it could save you time in case you don’t need the others.

And of course, you’ll want to know if there’s a penalty if you don’t have insurance and how much. The ACA Penalty Calculator is another easy one, but the answers could be big news for you. You’ll be able to take a look at what you’d pay for 2014, 2015 and 2016 if you don’t have health insurance.

Both taxpayers and employers will also find some Frequently Asked Questions that could prove helpful as well.

Whatever You Do, Do It Now

If you are considering acquiring health insurance coverage – especially if you may purchase through the Health Insurance Marketplace – run the calculators and see what your situation means in terms of health care coverage. Then act. There’s no tax credit for “I forgot.”

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