Wednesday, October 9, 2013

New Healthcare Laws in United States

I don't know how many of you follow the news back home, I know I try not to. However, there is a fun little law that is going into effect in the States right now that might affect some of us.

Yes, the Affordable Healthcare Act.

This is not a political post, I have no opinion on the law whatsoever. However, we do have a duty to follow the laws of the land.

So this is what I have found:

Essentially, in order to get coverage, you have to:
  • Be a US Citizen
  • Not be in jail- hopefully this won't be a problem
  • Live in the United States
Hmm, that last one is a bit of a problem. Also, the website says this:

Direct Quote
U.S. citizens living in a foreign country are not required to get health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

What qualifies you as "living" in another country? Well, it helps to actually have residency in that country. Of course, not all of us have that.

So the Government set down some qualifications. I don't really understand all of them, it's stuff like "Did you tell the country you reside in that you are not a resident?"  "Do you have to pay income taxes in that country?" and "Does your family live with you in that country?"
But the one that caught my eye was, you must be outside the United States for at least 330 full days in a 12 consecutive month period (also known as a year.) Which means you can go home for exactly 35 days each year, no more, if you want to be exempt from the law.

I guess, technically, if you still call the States "home" then you still consider yourself a resident of the place. 

Another thing to note, is that most of the insurance plans available only cover medical care in the States. So, if you do end up having to purchase coverage, you might want to check that you get one you can actually use. 

Some of the websites I searched seemed to think if you have travel insurance with medical coverage, that fulfills the requirements. But those weren't official sources, so I don't know how accurate that is. 

We plan to consult a tax guy just to make sure of everything, so if I find out anything else that might be useful, I'll share it.

1 comment:

  1. That's good to know. Thanks for doing that research and let us know what you find out. We spent more than 35 days here so I guess we might be forced to buy it.