ACA Tax credit / Special Enrollment

Reply Sat 28 Jun, 2014 09:28 pm
I have very little income and signed up for healthcare under the ACA towards the end of the open enrollment. I estimated $12,000 income. I am in Texas, which did not expand medicare. Based on the estimated income, I was eligible for the premium tax credit to reduce my premiums. However, I had some savings when I signed up, and for some reason I thought it would be better to get the tax credit when I filed my taxes rather than in reduced premiums each month.

Now, various things have happened and my savings are basically gone. I can't afford to pay the full premium each month without applying the tax credit. I need to know specifically what I would need to do in order to adjust the application of the tax credit to my monthly premiums, since the healthcare.gov website does not allow you to do so.

I think I need to trigger a "special enrollment" period. What reasonable ways are there of deliberately triggering one? I am only working part time now. Perhaps I could get a new part time job, or move in order to let me apply the tax credit to my premiums.

What is even worse than my present situation is that I believe by neglecting to apply the tax credit for these past months, I've completely lost that tax credit! Is this the case? If my income is accurate, my income tax liability would only be for ~$600, but the tax credit would amount to something like $2000! Is there any way to claim that additional credit, like applying it to future taxes or anything?

The only thing I have found online is that "If the amount of the reconciled credit exceeds the tax filer’s liability, a social benefit is recorded for the difference between the additional credit and the tax liability. " http://www.bea.gov/faq/index.cfm?faq_id=1033#sthash.MQtfXIrz.dpuf "

"A social benefit is recorded"? What does that even mean? What if I didn't collect the additional tax credit in reduced premiums?

Please help! Any advice or assistance is appreciated! The official healthcare.gov only has telephone support, and I've called them 3 times - they know far less about these technical details than I do, and I'm pretty much completely in the dark.
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cicerone imposter
Reply Sun 29 Jun, 2014 12:16 am
I'm not sure if this link can answer your question, but it may help lead you to where you need to go.
Reply Sat 26 Jul, 2014 12:55 am
@cicerone imposter,
I looked around that site but couldn't find an answer, and I also emailed my question to their editor for the ACA database section of the site or whatever, but they never replied or posted my question.

Anyway, I've since called the healthcare.gov phone line a few more times and eventually got someone that was able to make the change of applying the tax credit to the monthly premium for me. This will solve most of my problems, since the excess credit I've accumulated by not applying until now should be comparable to the total tax liability.

Any time you call them to discuss this kind of issue, they get confused and have to go on hold for awhile to talk with their supervisor / other representatives, and each time I call they come back with different answers and confusions. It would really be great if there was some kind of written support rather than only telephone... it really makes things inconvenient for difficult problems like this, especially since the front line support doesn't really seem trained to handle them.
cicerone imposter
Reply Sat 26 Jul, 2014 10:22 am
I agree. One of the major criticisms I have about ACA is the fact that they have not prepared it very well. It has created more confusion and frustrations for the American public - and for the people working the system.

All that confusion caused much delay, but once people were enrolled and started using their health plan, they were happy campers.

One thing we may wish to remember; the ACA is one of the biggest change made in this country that affected more than 20 million people. On that score, we must give some leeway to the government for not having covered all the bases, but some could have been avoided by planning better.

Glad you were finally able to resolve your credit issue.

I've always supported universal health care for our country; all developed and some underdeveloped countries provide universal health care. There's no reason why the richest country in the world can't provide health care to our citizens. It's the smart thing to do. Good health means happier and longer lives.

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