President Trump, the ACA, and insurance for Americans abroad
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 Now that it’s possible that Obamacare may be repealed, these people could likely see their insurance needs change too.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?