Posts Tagged "health insurance"

Have adult children? Take steps to avoid medical access denial

Posted on Aug 15, 2017

Imagine your college-aged daughter has an accident while away at school and ends up in the emergency room. When you call the hospital, you are denied information about her care because you do not have the proper forms signed. Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), you do not have legal access to your child’s health information after they reach age 18, even if your child is still your dependent and their health insurance coverage is in your name. To avoid this administrative nightmare, take the following steps. 1. Make sure your health insurance coverage will cover your child at his or her new campus home. 2. Have your son or daughter sign a HIPAA authorization form allowing you access to their medical information. 3. Create a multipurpose medical power of attorney authorization, which will not only give you authorization to help make medical decisions, it can also include an advance directive or living will. 4. Scan two copies of these documents – one for you and one for your child –and keep them in a secure place along with a copy of your student’s insurance...

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Your HSA as a retirement tool – the facts

Posted on Aug 6, 2017

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are a great way to pay for medical expenses, and since unused funds roll over from year to year, the account can also provide a source of retirement funds in addition to other plans like 401(k)s or IRAs. But be aware of how HSAs compare to other retirement investment tools. HSAs work best when they are used to pay for qualified medical expenses. Neither your original contributions to an HSA nor your investment earnings are taxed when used this way. There is no required minimum distribution after you reach age 70½, like there is with 401(k)s and IRAs. You can only contribute to an HSA if you have a high deductible health insurance plan. The downside of these plans is that you pay more out of pocket each year when you need to use health services. Annual contributions to HSAs are limited to $3,400 a year for individuals and $6,750 a year for families (add $1,000 for people aged 55 or older). HSAs typically have fewer investment options compared with other investment tools including 401(k)s and IRAs. They also often have high management and administrative fees. Before you reach age 65, non-medical withdrawals from HSAs come with a whopping 20 percent penalty, plus they are taxed as income. Even after age 65, both contributions and earnings are taxed when they are withdrawn for non-medical expenses. In this way, HSAs compare unfavorably with 401(k)s and IRAs, which end their early withdrawal period earlier, at age 59½. They also have lower early withdrawal penalties of just 10 percent. HSAs are a powerful tool to help manage the ever-rising costs of health care. Knowing the rules and the costs associated with them can help you position an HSA with your other retirement...

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Current tax law requires health insurance

Posted on Mar 20, 2017

During his first week in office, President Trump signed an executive order asking federal agencies to reduce the economic burden the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) puts on American citizens. Unfortunately, this executive order is causing confusion. Many people are left wondering if fines will no longer be imposed or rules no longer need to be followed. Until the agencies impacted by this executive order publish their intent, act as though current laws are still in play. This includes: The requirement to have health insurance. The requirement to pay a shared responsibility tax if you do not have continuous health insurance coverage. The ability to receive a health insurance premium credit if you qualify. Possible health insurance credits for qualifying small businesses. It’s important to realize that unless tax laws actually change, you are expected tofollow the laws as they are currently...

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What to do when receiving Form 1095

Posted on Mar 15, 2017

If you have health insurance through a state or federal marketplace, you will receive a Form 1095-A. You should have already received this form, and you must have it prior to filing your tax return. If you receive health insurance through your employer, or another program that generates Form 1095-B or 1095-C, for 2016 only, you can still file a tax return without receiving the form. Just make sure you can prove health insurance coverage for you, your spouse, and your dependents for the year. Place Form 1095 in your tax files. Even though some Forms 1095-B and Forms 1095-C will be received later, you must still retain the form in your files. If you file your tax return and then discover an error in your reporting based on a Form 1095-B or Form 1095-C received after February 1, there is penalty relief from the IRS if you need to amend your tax return. Remember, this applies to the 2016 tax year only. For the 2017 tax year, unless changed, you will be required to use a Form 1095 as proof of health insurance priorto filing your tax...

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2016 proof of health insurance: the Form 1095 wrinkle

Posted on Mar 10, 2017

Under the current Affordable Care Act (ACA), all Americans must have health insurance. If you receive your health insurance through the ACA marketplace or from your employer, you will receive a Form 1095. This form is used as documentation that you have adequate insurance and is used for other ACA reporting and potential tax...

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