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Old 08.11.2013, 09:57
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US Health Insurance and Expat Reporting

At the risk of enabling another political discussion, I'm curious if anyone knows how expats are supposed to self-report with respect to the mandate.

Does Swiss (or other national) insurance cover us? And do we simply report this? Or is there an exemption for people living abroad? Do we file this with our taxes?

Thanks for any tips.
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Old 08.11.2013, 11:22
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Re: US Health Insurance and Expat Reporting

A lot of expats are wondering the same thing, and if the problems thus far are a sign of things to come, I expect plenty of expats to have difficulties.

First off, Switzerland does not have national health insurance. You're covered by whatever health insurance you have personally selected and paid for here. Does that count? Maybe.

This page from the IRS is chock-full of confusing information, but item 12 seems to indicate that if you're not in the U.S. for at least 330 days then you don't need to worry.

Note this bullet point under exemptions as well: "The exemptions for... individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States can be claimed only as part of filing a federal income tax return." So it appears this will be dealt with on the tax return, somehow.

One other note - There's been some question raised about the enforceability of the penalty. This article (and others) mention that the IRS can only withhold the penalty from a tax refund. If you're not due a refund then they can't enforce it.

HTH

Last edited by 3Wishes; 08.11.2013 at 11:23. Reason: clarity, I hope
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Old 08.11.2013, 14:07
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Re: US Health Insurance and Expat Reporting

You're right - "national health insurance" was poor wording on my part. I just meant, insurance issued from an insurance company in whatever nation the expat happens to be in.

In my case I have Credit Mutuel here in CH, and I remember from when the law was being passed that if you are living outside the US you are exempt. But I don't know how to report this. I mean, I don't recall ever having filed a paper with the US saying I'm over here. Does it just show up when I do my taxes and report the Swiss income? From what you've pointed out, it looks like this will be the case. So I guess I'll just wait until tax time to worry about this.

Thanks!
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Old 08.11.2013, 14:22
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Re: US Health Insurance and Expat Reporting

Quote:
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You're right - "national health insurance" was poor wording on my part. I just meant, insurance issued from an insurance company in whatever nation the expat happens to be in.

In my case I have Credit Mutuel here in CH, and I remember from when the law was being passed that if you are living outside the US you are exempt. But I don't know how to report this. I mean, I don't recall ever having filed a paper with the US saying I'm over here. Does it just show up when I do my taxes and report the Swiss income? From what you've pointed out, it looks like this will be the case. So I guess I'll just wait until tax time to worry about this.

Thanks!
Be patient, wait until the 1040 for 2013 is released....there will surely be a field where you can claim an exemption
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Old 08.11.2013, 20:55
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Re: US Health Insurance and Expat Reporting

In short, if you qualify for the foreign earned income exclusion on your tax return, you don't need to worry about the health insurance (read: you're exempt)
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Old 08.11.2013, 22:28
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Re: US Health Insurance and Expat Reporting

The US Affordable Care Act will result in some US Persons living abroad paying extra taxes to support healthcare in the US although they will not benefit from it. The below letter by the American Citizens Abroad organization details the issues:

http://americansabroad.org/files/361...y-letter-2.pdf
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