Open Enrollment For 2014 Health Coverage for Individuals Ends March 31st
If you are a self-employed business owner with no employees, you can get quality, affordable health coverage in the new individual Health Insurance Marketplace. Most people will qualify for lower costs on health coverage. In fact, to 6 out of 10 uninsured Americans can get coverage for $100 per month or less. If you don’t have health coverage in 2014, you may have to pay a fine. You don’t have to pay the fine if you enroll in a Marketplace plan by March 31, 2014. And most people won’t get another chance to enroll in the Marketplace until November. Click here and select your state to enroll now.
Key Provisions Under the Affordable Care Act for Self-Employed Individuals
Implementation of the Affordable Care Act occurs in stages, with many of the reforms and requirements taking effect in 2013 and 2014. Some of the provisions that may impact self-employed individuals include:
- Individual Shared Responsibility (Also Known as Individual Mandate)
Starting in 2014, the Individual Shared Responsibility provision of the Affordable Care Act means that each individual must have basic health insurance coverage (known as minimum essential coverage), qualify for an exemption, or pay a fine when filing a federal income tax return. Individuals will not have to pay a fine (also known as an individual shared responsibility payment or individual mandate) if coverage is unaffordable, if they spend less than three consecutive months without coverage, or if they qualify for an exemption for several other reasons, including hardship and religious beliefs. The fine in 2014 is calculated one of two ways. You’ll pay whichever of these amounts is higher:
•1% of your yearly household income. (Only the amount of income above the tax filing threshold, $10,150 for an individual, is used to calculate the penalty.) The maximum payment is the national average yearly premium for a bronze plan.
•$95 per person for the year ($47.50 per child under 18). The maximum payment per family using this method is $285.
Enroll in the individual Marketplace by March 31st and you won’t have to pay the fine. If you enroll in a health insurance plan through the Marketplace by March 31, 2014, you won’t have to make the payment for any month before your coverage began. For example, if you enroll in a Marketplace plan on March 31 your coverage begins on May 1. If you didn’t have coverage earlier in the year, you won’t have to pay a fine for any of the previous months of 2014. For more information about the Individual Shared Responsibility requirements and exemptions that may apply, refer to this Fact Sheet from the U.S. Department of Treasury as well as these Q&As from IRS.
- Individual Health Insurance Marketplace
Coverage through the new Health Insurance Marketplace for individuals and small businesses began on January 1, 2014. The individual Marketplace offers self-employed and other consumers a choice of four levels of benefit packages that differ by the percentage of costs the health plan covers. You may qualify for individual tax credits and subsidies on a sliding scale, based on income. Increased access to quality, affordable health care will make it easier for potential entrepreneurs to go out on their own instead of staying at larger firms simply because of "job lock". Click here and select your state to enroll now.
- Coverage through Medicaid Expansion
Each state operates a Medicaid program that provides health coverage for lower-income people, families and children, the elderly, and people with disabilities. The eligibility rules for Medicaid are different for each state, but most states currently offer coverage for adults with children at some income level. In addition, under the Affordable Care Act, states have the option to expand Medicaid eligibility to include adults ages 19 – 64 with incomes up to 133% of the Federal Poverty Level (about $15,000 per year for an individual, $31,000/year for a family of four). To learn more about your state Medicaid program and other options available to you, visit Healthcare.gov.
- New Medicare Assessment on Net Investment Income
Beginning January 1, 2013, a 3.8% tax will be assessed on net investment income such as taxable capital gains, dividends, rents, royalties, and interest for taxpayers with Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) over $200,000 for single filers and $250,000 for married joint filers. Common types of income that are not investment income are wages, unemployment compensation, operating income from a non-passive business, Social Security Benefits, alimony, tax-exempt interest, and self-employment income.
Find Plan Information In Your Area
Find and compare Marketplace health plans in your area by using this interactive tool at Healthcare.gov.
Timeline of Provisions
The Affordable Care Act timeline provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services includes the next steps you can take to implement the provisions