As Obama and Romney are campaigning for office, the invevitable hot button is is in the forefront again and especially for expats overseas. The phone here has been ringing quite steadily with woried expats wondering what will happen when this law takes it’s full effect and it’s not that far away, everyone will require health care.
Obama Care became law back in March 20, 2010. Are American’s over here, some of which who may not even have set foot on US soil, be required to pay into a system that are not even using?
Even Senator Mitt Romney is getting in on the action with his pledge to repeal Obama Care. “I know the president has said he will do those things. But he has not. He cannot. He will not,” Romney said at a gathering recently.
In fact the other day, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that Congress does, in fact, have the right to tax Americans on what they don’t do. Not having Health Insurance may be penalized.
Here is an excerpt from the Act with regard to non-residents:
CHAPTER 48—MAINTENANCE OF MINIMUM ESSENTIAL COVERAGE
(a) Requirement to maintain minimum essential coverage
An applicable individual shall for each month beginning after 2013 ensure that the individual, and any dependent of the individual who is an applicable individual, is covered under minimum essential coverage for such month.
(f) Minimum essential coverage
For purposes of this section
(1) In general
The term “minimum essential coverage” means any of the following:
(Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP programs, some VA medical coverages)**
. . .
(4) Individuals residing outside United States or residents of territories.
Any applicable individual shall be treated as having minimum essential coverage for any month—
~ (A) if such month occurs during any period described in subparagraph (A) or (B) of section 911(d)(1) which is applicable to the individual, or
~ (B) if such individual is a bona fide resident of any possession of the United States (as determined under section 937(a)) for such month. (then they must get medical coverage.)
There are other “exceptions” to this and have many overseas expats quite confused even in a state of panic about the whole thing which slowly creeping it’s way into our lives at a rapid pace. The law exempts any US citizen or resident alien who is not “lawfully present in the United States.”
What does that mean exactly? It’s a difficult thing for sure and it would be best to contact a legal expert, someone familiar with US Tax law, someone conversant in the whole issue which is transpiring before
us, ever changing a congress passes convoluted laws which most at home don’t even understand.
So, if you’re looking for top notch advice, please contact us here at Serviced China for all your US Tax needs, questions about the changes which may affect you and your loved ones at: [email protected]
Marion will be pleased to direct your call to our Tax experts while you reside here in China.