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Keep your subsidy! With more than 15 million America’s receiving federal subsidies (advanced tax credits), there are some things you need to remember to keep YOUR subsidy.
- File your 2016 income taxes.
Per the IRS, if you have not filed your 2016 income taxes by Aug. 31, 2017, you run the risk of not being eligible for a subsidy in 2018. Even if you filed an extension (which means your 2016 income taxes are due by October 15 – date extended due to Irma in some areas), you run this risk. The IRS has told us that unless your filing reached them by August 31, they will not be able to verify that you filed your taxes when you reapply for your subsidy. You may have to prove your estimated income for 2018.
- Report change of life issues.
One of the requirements of a federal subsidy is that you promise to notify the federal marketplace of changes to the answers you gave on your application. Without making these changes, you may be required to pay back some or your entire federal subsidy. Reporting a life change can be done with the assistance of your agent or by calling the marketplace directly at 800-315-2596.
- Annually refile for your federal subsidy.
Every year during open enrollment (Nov. 1 – Dec. 15), the federal marketplace will refile your federal subsidy based on current information. Policies renew the first of every year, and with that renewal comes rate adjustments. If your information stays the same, rates will probably go up due to the increase in standard premiums. Making sure your information is correct will give you the highest subsidy available. Looking at alternative plans might also save you money.
- Keep in touch with your agent.
Your licensed and bonded health insurance agent will have the answers you need when it comes to your questions. Your agent is there to assist you, and using a professional agent does not cost you money. If you’ve never used an agent, feel free to call Nichols Insurance – we make health insurance easy.
Bill Askins | Advisor Since 1993