Navigating Affordable Care Act Insurance While Living Abroad

If you’re considering retiring and living between the US and another country, understanding your health insurance options is crucial. One key consideration is the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which provides health insurance coverage to millions of Americans.

ACA Coverage While Living Abroad

The ACA generally requires individuals to have health insurance coverage throughout the year. However, there may be exceptions for those living abroad. If you spend more than 330 days outside the US, you may be eligible for a “foreign presence” exemption. This exemption allows you to drop your ACA coverage without incurring a penalty.

To qualify for the foreign presence exemption, you must:

– Reside outside the US for at least 330 consecutive days.
– Maintain a tax home outside the US.
– File Form 8854, “Foreign Tax Indefinite Residence or Physical Presence.”

Suspending Coverage for Extended Foreign Stays

If you plan to spend less than 330 days abroad but still want to suspend your ACA coverage, you have two options:

– Cancel your plan: You can cancel your ACA plan during the annual open enrollment period, which runs from November 1st to January 15th.
– Leave your plan active: You can keep your ACA plan active while you’re abroad, but you may be responsible for premiums and any deductibles or coinsurance.

Returning to the US

When you return to the US, you will generally need to reenroll in ACA coverage within 60 days. If you do not have health insurance when you return, you may face a penalty.

Seeking Professional Advice

Navigating ACA insurance coverage while living abroad can be complex. It’s highly recommended that you consult with a licensed health insurance agent or consult the website for personalized guidance. They can assist you in determining your eligibility for exemptions, understanding your coverage options, and finding the right plan for your situation.

Remember, having access to quality health insurance is essential for your well-being. By understanding your options and making informed decisions, you can ensure that you have the coverage you need to stay healthy and protected abroad.

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