Thursday, March 20, 2014

Obamacare Deadline March 31st; Important Points to Remember

March 31 is just around the corner and it is the deadline of Affordable Care Act open enrollment. If you missed the deadline and have not purchased health care coverage you may be penalized (tax penalty) on your 2014 taxes filed in 2015. You will also have to wait for the next open enrollment period.

If you have already insurance from your work, Medicaid, Medicare, or others you will not be penalized as long as it have the minimum standards under the Affordable Care Act.

Under the ObamaCare Act everyone is required to have health insurance or if you don't you will have to pay a tax penalty (in 2015 when 2014 taxes are filed). However, there are exemptions.

- The household income of your family is less than the IRS income tax filing requirement ($10,000 if you are single, $20,000 if you are married and filing jointly).
- If you are a member of ministries or religious sects, or of a federally recognized Native American tribe.
- If you are uninsured for less than three consecutive months in a year.
- If you can't afford to get an insurance because of financial difficulties or the lowest premium is more than 8% of your household income.
- If your insurance plan was recently cancelled and you can't afford a marketplace plan.
- If your health insurance does not meet minimum coverage standards, but your state insurance commissioner allows your insurer to continue to offer out of date plans until the October 1st, 2016 additional grace period.
- If you are 26 yearsold and below you can opt to stay on or be added to your parents' health insurance plan, even if you don't live with them.

Subsidies for the cost of health insurance - you can check if you are eligible for financial assistance from the US government, through subsidy. It will be determined based on your household income and family size. You easily check if you qualify for a tax subsidy by using the health care calculator from TurboTax. The subsidy can go directly to your health insurance provider when you purchase insurance if you are qualified. If you qualified you will pay a lower monthly health insurance premium.


In 2014 the amount of one-time penalty is $95 per adult, or 1% of your total income depending on your income. For uninsured children in your household, the penalty is $47.50 per child with a maximum family penalty of $285.

Visit to apply for health insurance, you can also compare plans, and enroll online. You can also apply by phone or get in-person help with your application.

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Monday, March 10, 2014

Important Points to remember when Getting Travel Insurance

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, Malaysia Airlines, Travel Insurance

With the recent unfortunate mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 a lot of travelers are thinking that you can never say that you are 100% safe. The Malaysian passenger plane which has 239 people on board vanished in the skies over Southeast Asia Saturday March 8, 2014.

The Malaysia jet is a Boeing 777-200 model which have an excellent safety record.

You really can't say what future holds, which is why it is important that you make sure that you and your family are financially secured during unfortunate events like this.

Travel Insurance plans covers these most common risks:
  •     Emergency evacuation
  •     Repatriation of remains
  •     Medical emergency (accident or sickness)
  •     Return of a minor
  •     Trip cancellation
  •     Trip interruption
  •     Visitor health insurance
  •     Accidental death, injury or disablement benefit
  •     Overseas funeral expenses
  •     Lost, stolen or damaged baggage, personal effects or travel documents
  •     Delayed baggage (and emergency replacement of essential items)
  •     Flight connection was missed due to airline schedule
  •     Travel delays due to weather
  •     hi-jacking
These are the risks that are commonly excluded:
  •     Pre-existing medical conditions
  •     War or terrorism
  •     Injury or illness caused by alcohol or drug use
When purchasing Travel Insurance make sure that it has secondary coverage, this will make a big difference when you need treatment and will save you from further inconvenience. If you have none, you may incur out of pocket expenses and will deal with more headaches in filing for reimbursement from health insurance company. You may also suffer mediocre hospital care in a foreign country if you don't have enough money to cover the cost or they may even deny to give you medical care. Paying additional dollars for secondary coverage is worth it to get primary medical coverage.

Getting a primary medical coverage advantages:

- No out of pocket expenses
- You won't be denied medical care in a foreign country due to cost

Travel Insurance will compensate you if your baggage is lost, stolen or damaged, not only by the airline but also if it is lost, stolen or damaged on your way to your hotel or in a restaurant. However, do note that most policies do not cover electronics such as smartphones, tablets, or laptops so it's important to double check each policy carefully under the Baggage and Personal property section.