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.