Nearly 11.3 million people were enrolled in a 2016 Health Insurance Marketplace plan during the first eight weeks of the open enrollment period, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. If you’re one of those people, or if you are reconsidering your health insurance coverage, now is a good time to review your situation and see if any changes are necessary. The Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants highlights some of the issues to consider, and offers tips to use in your decision making.
Review the premium tax credit
The premium tax credit is awarded to eligible individuals and families with low- or moderate-income so that they are better able to afford coverage bought through a Health Insurance Marketplace. If you’re eligible for the credit, you can choose to have advance credit payments paid directly to your insurance company on your behalf to lower your out-of-pocket cost for your health insurance premiums or get all of the benefit of the credit when you file your tax return for the year. There are a number of potential changes in your personal or financial circumstances, however, that could have an impact on your eligibility for the credit or the size of the payments you receive. They include increases or decreases in your income, a marriage or divorce, the birth or adoption of a child, moving, or qualifying for or losing other health care coverage. If any of these changes in your circumstances qualify you for a higher credit, it is worthwhile knowing that as soon as possible. If changes mean you should be receiving a lower credit, it’s best to report that promptly so you don’t end up owing money when it’s time to file your taxes. Consult your CPA for advice if you need assistance understanding whether adjustments are necessary. And remember: You aren’t eligible for the premium tax credit unless you file a tax return.