In­sur­ance Re­vamp?

Pres­i­dent Trump, the ACA, and in­sur­ance for Amer­i­cans abroad

Wellness Update - - Content -

With the US elec­tions over, the dust set­tling has left both Amer­ica and the world pon­der­ing what a fu­ture un­der Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump will look like. The of­ten po­lar­is­ing, then­can­di­date Trump had made a num­ber of news­wor­thy an­nounce­ments and state­ments re­gard­ing var­i­ous poli­cies he would en­act if he were pres­i­dent, and so now the coun­try waits to see what the pres­i­dent-in-wait­ing will do in his rst term.

If you’re an Amer­i­can think­ing about health­care, the Af­ford­able Care Act (ACA) will spring to mind as one of the rst ma­jor health sec­tor poli­cies likely to be con­sid­ered by the Pres­i­dent-elect. Whether the ACA, also com­monly re­ferred to as Oba­macare, has been ef­fec­tive in mak­ing in­sur­ance more af­ford­able for many Amer­i­cans is still a con­tentious is­sue. Repub­li­cans have vowed to re­peal the leg­is­la­tion, how­ever when and how it will af­fect Amer­i­cans at home and abroad re­mains unclear.

This ar­ti­cle aims to give a lit­tle con­text to those of you who are wait­ing, like we are, to see how the new Com­man­der-in-Chief will impact your in­sur­ance re­quire­ments.

OBA­MACARE: A Brief Re­fresher

In­tro­duced in 2010, the ACA made it manda­tory for all Amer­i­can tax­pay­ing res­i­dents (in­clud­ing most in­bound and out­bound ex­pats) to pur­chase a health in­sur­ance plan. Plans them­selves had to have met the Min­i­mum Es­sen­tial Cover (MEC) re­quire­ments, and to not hold an MEC-com­pli­ant plan meant you would be li­able to pay an In­di­vid­ual Man­date penalty come tax time.

For out­bound ex­pats, that’s Amer­i­cans liv­ing over­seas who are still re­quired to le with the IRS back home, the ACA man­dates still ap­ply. If you’re liv­ing over­seas but still ling a S tax re­turn, you are legally re­quired to have health­care cov­er­age back home that meets the MEC. This is in spite of the fact that you might also be re­quired to pay for health in­sur­ance in the coun­try you’re cur­rently a res­i­dent in.

One of the most com­mon so­lu­tions for Amer­i­can ex­pats is to sort out their health in­sur­ance for the coun­try they’re liv­ing and work­ing in, and then work out whether or not it is cheaper to buy US cov­er­age or sim­ply pay the fine. Now that it’s pos­si­ble that Oba­macare may be re­pealed, th­ese peo­ple could likely see their in­sur­ance needs change too. But how will it change and when?

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