Financial PlanningHealth InsuranceTax Planning

Checklist of health care planning issues for financial advisers

This checklist of health care planning issues is meant for financial advisers to consider in 2016 planning:

  • Millions of Americans people who bought their own coverage outside the exchange do not have “minimal essential coverage” (even though they think they do). This has implications for tax preparers as well as financial advisers.
  • Millions of Americans who get coverage from their employer do not have “minimal essential coverage” (even though they may think they do). This also has implications for tax preparers as well as financial advisers.
  • Millions of Americans without minimal essential coverage face catastrophic financial risks if they need medical treatment.
  • States are increasingly likely to levy real estate to recover medical expense payments of people without minimum essential coverage. States like Idaho also levy personal property.
  • Commercial collection efforts against individuals without minimal essential coverage are intensified. People without minimal essential coverage should not expect any leniency from the legal system.
  • Employers who cannot prove that they provided notice of coverage options risk being held financially responsible for medical bills of employees without minimal essential coverage.
  • Tens of thousands of small  businesses were subject to health care excise taxes for the first time in 2015 (even though they do not realize it).
  • Professional tax preparers who do not recognize excise tax liability of business clients may be subject to substantial underreporting penalties.
  • The tax penalty (actually ” individual shared responsibility provision”) for not having minimal essential coverage jumps to an average of about $1,000 per applicable tax filer in 2016, significantly higher than last year.
  • Overall health care spending is rapidly approaching 20% of gross household income for many middle income households without any plan to limit and manage this shift in their overall financial well-being.

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