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Old 10-13-2015, 07:07 PM
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Living abroad and Obamacare

Hi everyone, let me just say thanks for looking at my question.


I spent the last 5 years living in Asia (most recently China) and I came back to the US in August. After about a month and a half of being unemployed, I found some online private contracting work from a company in Japan. (They don't withhold my taxes or offer health insurance). So I am without health insurance (in China the school paid 70% of my medical bills) and I want to get short term insurance (I have a full time position lined up for February of next year) but I don't understand how the obamacare penalty will work in my situation.

I made most of my income in Chinese RMB, and converted to USD is probably in the ball park of $22,000. My wife is a foreign national, but she is here on a tourist visa for a few months, does she need to be insured?

Thanks again.



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Old 10-15-2015, 04:31 AM
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I spent the last 5 years living in Asia (most recently China) and I came back to the US in August. After about a month and a half of being unemployed, I found some online private contracting work from a company in Japan. (They don't withhold my taxes or offer health insurance). So I am without health insurance (in China the school paid 70% of my medical bills) and I want to get short term insurance (I have a full time position lined up for February of next year) but I don't understand how the obamacare penalty will work in my situation.=======>>> Once you qualify for foreign residency, you are said to have the ‘minimum essential coverage' and are not required to purchase any additional coverage. you are still considered to be exempt from Obamacare by simply qualifying as a resident of another country You aren't generally resident of the US while living overseas, the majority of expats will be exempt from the Obamacare health insurance requirements. But in order to be exempt you must prove residency in another country through one of two tests: The Bona Fide Residence Test;To qualify through this test you must have been living abroad for at least one year and have no immediate plans to return to the US.The Physical Presence Test- Most expats will qualify for this test, as you simply need to have foreign earned income and be physically out of the US for 330 days out of a 365 day period. If you are an expat on a short-term assignment and do not qualify for exemption through one of the residency tests. GovernmentHealthInsurance.com will help determine your eligibility and will match you to the right plans. You can also call 800¬-414-8940 .
The current "Open Enrollment Period" is from November 1, 2015 to January 31, 2016. Existing 2014/2015 plans expire on December 31, 2015. In order to avoid any gaps in coverage, it is highly recommended you sign-up by December 15, 2015. Short term health insurance won’t help you to avoid the ObamaCare fee for not having coverage. Short term medical insurance does not have to offer ObamaCare’s new benefits, rights, and protections, is not considered minimum essential coverage, and losing it won’t qualify you for special enrollment in ObamaCare’s Health Insurance Marketplace.

I made most of my income in Chinese RMB, and converted to USD is probably in the ball park of $22,000. ====>as mentioned above; in gnenral, If you Have a small enough income that you’re not required to file income taxes, then you do not need a coverage.
For example, for 2014, you could earn $10,150 before you had to file, and couples could earn $20,300. But, it changes every year.



My wife is a foreign national, but she is here on a tourist visa for a few months, does she need to be insured? =======>>if your nonresident Spouse is treated as a resident for tax purposes , she will still be required to get health coverage or pay a fee.Aslongas you file your return as MFJ with your foreign spouse(I mean aslongas she is treated as a US resident) , then yes.However, if you file your return as MFS since your foreign spouse doesn't have any U.S. income, they are not required to pay taxes to the IRS/ state. Then, no Obama ACA coverage is needed for her;
Your non-resident alien spouse will be a non-resident alien UNLESS she files joint return with you .Inthis case, she’d be treated as a US resident and needs a coverage. Under Obama Affordable Care, non resident alien workers with an H1 visa, L1 visa, etc., who are legally residing and employed in the US are subject to the same federal health insurance rules as US citizens/residents. If she is a lawful immigrant to the US i.e. as a green card holder with her SSN # or applying for ITIN may qualify for ObamaCare and will be subject to the rules defined in the Affordable Care Act for residents of the U.S



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