No tax form for Care Act subsidy
Robert I. Field, a law and public health professor at Drexel University, wrote this for the "Field Clinic" blog at philly.com/fieldclinic.
Q: I am 60 years old, single, and not married. I own my house, no mortgage. I am unemployed and a caregiver for my elderly father, who lives with me. I now buy my own health insurance.
When the Affordable Care Act goes into effect in 2014 and I am still unemployed, what are my options for coverage? If I still buy my insurance, do I fill out a 1040 form with me not having any income and be compensated when I list the money paid for insurance?
Also, what happens if my state, Pennsylvania, or any state opts out of ACA?
A: Bruce, you should find it much easier to enroll and pay for health insurance once the health law takes full effect in January.
Starting Oct. 1, the online exchange in your state will direct you to a menu of policies from which to choose.
If your income falls below 400 percent of the federal poverty level - $45,960 in 2013 - you will be eligible for a subsidy to reduce the cost. The exchange will automatically deduct the amount of the subsidy from the premiums you have to pay. You will not have to file a form 1040 to receive it.
Insurance exchanges will operate in all states. The federal government will run the exchange in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, so subsidies will be available through it.
Robert I. Field is answering reader questions on the law at email@example.com.