Unaware of the Deadline
My husband lost his job and healthcare coverage in May 2014. We did not get a COBRA offer from his employer, a U.K. based company. We were unaware of the three month deadline to sign up for new coverage. From June through December we were without healthcare coverage. We are healthy, active family of four who have not been to a doctor except for preventative care.
Our concerns are many.
1) Why are we being penalized (taxed) for not having coverage during a time of unemployment when we were not provided with a COBRA option from an employer and why would we be forced to pay for coverage we couldn’t afford at a time of unemployment?
2) We have two college aged children. One is in arrears on her tuition and the other is being forced to delay college due in part to a $450 healthcare premium that we are being forced to pay, because apparently we can afford it???
3) We will pay a tax penalty for not having healthcare. My husband is working a job that is drastically below his previous position and I am unemployed, yet we are still expected to pay a healthcare premium when nobody in the family has been to a doctor in over 7 months.
4) We would appreciate a response as to why we are cutting back on food, education, etc. — read basic necessities, but are expected to pay for healthcare that we don’t need because the government deems it a necessary tax?
We look forward to your reply.
No family should have to pay more than they can afford or should have to put off college due to costs. The ACA does a lot to address all of these issues, but most is based on income.
The most you can pay for not having coverage last year is $285 unless you have a relatively high income. In which case you’ll pay 1% of your Modified household income above the tax filing threshold.
Make sure to get covered by Feb 15, 2015 for coverage for this year and to avoid the fee.
If you can’t afford coverage this year, you can apply for an exemption due to unaffordability.
It’s hard to give more specific options without knowing your income.
If you are having to put off college due to an expensive healthcare premium, there is almost certainly assistance available to you. You can get marketplace coverage and not need to get a student health plan.
Late reply but you can always apply for an exemption from the fee for having your insurance plan cancelled. More info can be found here https://www.healthcare.gov/fees-exemptions/exemptions-from-the-fee/