What If I Don T Buy Health Insurance
The Massachusetts Health Care Reform Law requires that most residents over 18 who can afford health insurance have coverage for the entire year, or pay a penalty through their tax returns. Penalties add up for each month you don't comply, but there is a grace period that allows lapses in coverage of 3 or fewer consecutive months. You must be enrolled in health insurance plans that meet Minimum Creditable Coverage (MCC) requirements.
what if i don t buy health insurance
You may also buy plans through approved Massachusetts health insurance carriers. To learn more or buy a plan, contact the Health Connector at (877) 623-6765, TTY number at (877) 623-7773, or visit the website.
Whether or not you have to file a Massachusetts personal income tax return, anyone 18 years old or over must get and maintain creditable health insurance coverage as long as it's considered affordable under the schedule set by the Massachusetts Health Connector. This includes those who are exempt from filing taxes. This health care mandate applies to:
If you're a resident, or in some cases a part-year resident, file Schedule HC with your Form 1 or Form 1-NR/PY. If you don't, this will delay processing your return. Fill in the Health Care Information section on your Schedule HC to prove that you have health insurance that meets MCC requirements.
If you have health insurance from more than 2 insurance carriers, fill out Schedule HC-CS as well. Report your 2 most recent insurance carriers first on Schedule HC first and then fill out Schedule HC-CS to report your additional insurance carriers.
Your health care premiums are tax-deductible if you're self-employed, so you can reduce your taxable income by your health insurance premium's cost. This is reported on Schedule Y of your Massachusetts income tax return. The Massachusetts Health Connector offers health plans on a pre-tax basis.
If you moved into Massachusetts during the year, the health care mandate applies to you beginning on the first day of the third full month following the month you became a Massachusetts resident.
If your plan doesn't meet the MCC requirements for the entire time that the mandate applied to you, fill in the "No MCC/None" oval in line 3 of the Schedule HC. You won't be penalized if we determine that you didn't have access to affordable insurance that met MCC.
Most plans meet the MCC standards. You'll know if your plan does because Massachusetts-licensed health insurance companies must put an MCC-compliance notice on their plans to indicate if it does or doesn't meet MCC.
If you receive a Form MA 1099-HC from your insurer, it will indicate whether your insurance meets MCC requirements. If you didn't receive one from your insurer and get health coverage through your job, you can call your insurer or your employer's human resources department or benefits administrator for help. If your insurer or your employer can't help you, please refer to list of benefits above to see if your policy meets these requirements. If your plan meets all of the requirements listed above, you may certify that you were enrolled in a plan that met the MCC requirements during that time period.
Receiving services through the Health Safety Net Trust Fund (previously known as the "Uncompensated Care Pool" or "Free Care Pool") is not considered health insurance, and thus does not meet MCC requirements. If this is the only way in which your health care needs are paid, you must select the No MCC/None oval in line 3 of the Schedule HC.
If you were enrolled in an MCC plan for only part of a year, you should fill in the "Part-Year MCC" oval in line 3 of the Schedule HC. Next, provide your health insurance information for the MCC plan(s) you were enrolled in. Do not provide health insurance information for a plan that does not meet the MCC standards.
This form contains information you need to complete your Schedule HC. Students who are dependents on a parent's insurance plan also need the information on the Form MA 1099-HC to complete their income tax returns.
If you receive more than 1 Form MA 1099-HC because you have more than 1 health insurance carrier for the year, you (and/or your spouse, if married filing jointly) must report each carrier that provided health insurance.
If you switched coverage or had more than 1 insurance carrier in the year, you'll receive a Form MA 1099-HC from each carrier showing detailed information about specific months of coverage. You need to report each instance of coverage you had as you complete Schedule HC.
You'll only be penalized for lacking insurance if you can afford to get health insurance but didn't. The penalties vary depending upon your income, age and family size. Penalties can be no more than half the lowest priced plan available to an individual through the ConnectorCare health insurance.
The individual mandate penalty applies only to adults who can afford health insurance. If, according to the state affordability schedule, you have no affordable options, you won't be penalized. There's no penalty if your income is at or below 150% of the federal poverty level because there is no premium and therefore no penalty. See the guidelines regarding the tax penalties for not having health insurance.
You can also base your appeal on other circumstances. For example, income changes or life circumstances might have affected your financial status during the year so that applying the affordability tables in Schedule HC was inequitable. You could have been unable to get government-subsidized insurance despite your income, or other circumstances that made you unable to buy insurance.
There is a grace period for people who have a gap in coverage. You can go up to 3 consecutive months without penalty, and multiple lapses are allowed within 1 calendar year. Therefore, if you lose your coverage but then resume coverage within 3 or fewer calendar months, you won't be penalized. We'll know how long you've had coverage because insurance carriers submit the same Form MA 1099-HC information to us as well.
If you had insurance for 15 days or more in a month, it will be treated as a full month of coverage. Otherwise, coverage of 14 days or less will be counted as a month without coverage. This calculation will be reflected in the Form MA 1099-HC.
If you can't afford health insurance payments while you're unemployed (before your new health insurance becomes effective through your new employer), check with your previous employer's human resource department about possibly extending your coverage until your new insurance becomes effective. You may also want to speak to the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority or the Division of Unemployment Assistance about other options. However, if your waiting period is 3 or fewer consecutive months, you fall within the permitted grace period and won't be penalized.
If you recently lost your job but got coverage through COBRA, you won't be subject to penalties. Losing your job is considered a "qualifying event" in most cases, which means that you are temporarily entitled to the same health plan coverage you had while you were employed. As long as the insurance you had through your former employment met MCC standards, you won't be penalized as long as you maintain that coverage through COBRA.
It is important to understand what you can expect if you go without health insurance, as well as your options for getting coverage no matter what your current situation might be. Keep reading or use the links below to learn more.
The KFF report found that families with low incomes were the most likely to be uninsured, with more than 73% citing the high cost of insurance as their primary reason for lacking coverage. Other reasons people stated for not having health insurance included:
According to the report, adults were more likely than children to be uninsured and people of color were at higher risk for not having insurance than non-Hispanic white individuals. Over 73% of families without insurance had at least one full-time worker in their family.
Because of rising prescription drug prices in the US, many prescription drugs are incredibly expensive, especially without a health insurance plan to help out. As such, some people without health insurance forgo medications they need to manage acute and chronic medical issues, often leading to worsening conditions and higher long-term medical costs.
If you lose coverage through a spouse or parent, or becomeineligible for Medicaid, you can still get insurance coverage. These coveragelosses are examples of qualifying life events that may give you eligibility ina special enrollment period. A special enrollment period allows you to enrollin major medical health insurance plans outside of the open enrollment period(which ran from November 1st through December 15th, 2020 and will run fromNovember 1st through January 15th, 2022 for 2022 coverage).
There are some situations where it might be necessary for you to go without healthcare for a short time, but preventive care is the best way to avoid more serious issues. If you go to the dentist, the eye doctor, and the regular doctor as you should, you can prevent chronic medical conditions from developing. A medical professional can catch potentially serious health issues before it leads to symptoms, helping you stay healthy. Therefore, you should make sure you have access to the health services you need by carrying solid health insurance if at all possible.
Qualification for subsidies is based off your yearly income and how it compares to the federal poverty line (FPL). If you make between 100% of the FPL and 400%, you may qualify for some assistance in paying your monthly insurance premium.
At eHealth, we are committed to ensuring everyone gets the best health care coverage for their needs and budget. We feature licensed brokers in every state and once you are enrolled in a plan, we offer 24/7 support to help you manage and renew your plan as needed. Contact eHealth today to begin comparing plans in your state. 041b061a72