There’s a lot of information out there regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but what does the ACA really mean for younger Americans? Historically, young adults have been the highest uninsured age group, accounting for 30% of Americans without health insurance.* The ACA has decreased that number by offering affordable health coverage.

With all of its complexities, we've broken down the health care law and what you should know.

 

5 Things You Should Know

  1. There’s good news - you can stay on your parents’ health insurance plan until your 26th birthday, even if you don’t live with them. This also applies if you are not a student and file your own taxes independently from your parents.
  2. However, if you’re over the age of 26, you’ll need to have your own qualifying health plan, or you may pay a fee on your tax return. Your health insurance can be through your employer, the Marketplace, or purchased privately. You could be exempt from the fee, or qualify for free or low-cost Marketplace insurance, if you have limited income.
  3. Deductibles, copays, premiums – you may hear these terms frequently but they are all different. Read up on what these terms mean before purchasing your health insurance so that you can make an informed decision.
  4. The Marketplace is where you compare health plans and enroll in health coverage that best suits your lifestyle. If you use the Marketplace to sign up for health insurance, you may qualify for a subsidy. Subsidies are based on your income and help reduce the cost of your health insurance.  See if you qualify for a subsidy before enrolling.
  5. There are certain times of the year in which you can purchase health insurance, so be aware of your enrollment deadline. The last day to purchase health insurance through the Marketplace for 2016 is January 31, 2016. After that, you can only purchase health insurance if you qualify for the special enrollment period, which is for individuals who experienced life events such as getting married or having a baby.

 

The Next Steps

Our ACA resources page offers valuable information about the health care law and important deadlines. If you need to purchase insurance, head to the Marketplace to research your different health care options. For questions about how your taxes may be affected or to sign up for health insurance, visit your neighborhood Liberty Tax office to speak with a health insurance agent.

Disclaimer: Tax Lounge is an informational source for industry news and related topics. We take every effort to provide honest and accurate tax information, but this information should not be a substitute for professional tax advice. Use our office locator to find your local tax office or subscribe to our free newsletter.

*Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services