I am an American Citizen, but stopped living in the US since 2009. Since then, I have only been back to visit friends and family. Currently, I am traveling the world by backpack. I do not plan on residing in the US in the future, and I keep hearing news about healthcare and all the fees associated when you don’t sign up. I read in one of your questions, you can get exempt if you don’t live in the us 330 days of the year. I still have an active American bank account with Wells Fargo and my mail gets sent to my parents house, but I do not reside there.
How do I make sure I will get exempt from these charges?? How can I secure/prove that I am not living in the US? Please tell me the procedures I must go through to avoid any complications.
If you don't file taxes in the US, or you are living outside the US for more than 330 days in 12 months, you are automatically exempt. If the 12 month period isn't the full tax year, you are simply exempt for any month in that 12 month period over the tax years it spans.
NOTE: The bottom line is that if you pay taxes in the US and make over the filing limit you need an exemption or coverage for each month. So, if you take the 330 day exemption, have foreign coverage that counts as minimum essential coverage, have U.S. qualifying coverage, or have an exemption of another type for each month then you are safe from the per-month fee. This means exacts for any specific person are likely to be complex. Given the complexity, we can't always answer every question. You should treat this information like a jump-off point and seek further information from a tax professional, the 8965 form, or the IRS specifically. See Foreign Insurance Coverage Fast Facts for Assisters from CMS for more details. I don't know of a list of coverages that count as MEC (minimum essential coverage), but generally nations that offer universal coverage or at least the benefits that ObamaCare offers should generally count.
Here are the details.
12. Are US citizens living abroad subject to the individual shared responsibility provision?
Yes. However, U.S. citizens who are not physically present in the United States for at least 330 full days within a 12-month period are treated as having minimum essential coverage for that 12-month period. In addition, U.S. citizens who are bona fide residents of a foreign country (or countries) for an entire taxable year are treated as having minimum essential coverage for that year. In general, these are individuals who qualify for a foreign earned income exclusion under section 911 of the Internal Revenue Code. Individuals may qualify for this rule even if they cannot use the exclusion for all of their foreign earned income because, for example, they are employees of the United States. See Publication 54, Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad, for further information on the foreign earned income exclusion. Individuals who qualify for this rule should file Form 8965, Health Coverage Exemptions, with their federal income tax returns. - IRS.Gov
Learn more about how the 330 day rule works.
UPDATE: If you will be in the United States for more than the allotted number of days you still get a "less than 3 month coverage gap exemption". If you are filing taxes just fill out the exemptions form 8965 and put in code "e" for your coverage gap.