The USA Affordable Care Act and U.S. Citizens Living at Lake Chapala

October 19, 2013

The Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) has an exception to the mandatory coverage which  requires most Americans to carry health insurance or pay a tax penalty. There are exceptions.
When I reached retirement age I signed up for Medicare (Hospital Part A – Hospital Benefits Only). So, under the new rules I’m exempt from the any fines for not signing up under the Affordable Care Act.
Medicare isn’t part of the Health Insurance Marketplace, so you don’t need to make any changes. If you have Medicare, you are considered covered
I’ve discovered that you are also exempt if you live outside the USA for 330 days or more. This gives you 35 days to visit family and friends each year in the USA..
If this is your situation, or soon will be, you will be treated as if you have qualifying insurance coverage and won’t owe any tax penalty, according to the Internal Revenue Service.
And, you do not have to have health insurance in the country where you live either.
The idea is that it would not be fair to force Americans living outside the USA to buy coverage on one of the health insurance exchanges that have just been opened.
In June 2012 the Supreme Court gave its approval to the Affordable Healthcare Act.The Supreme Court decision did not change anything in the law. Americans who are bona-fide residents overseas are presumed to have minimum essential coverage, and as such do not have to pay a tax for not being insured in the US.
Here’s a link http://www.irs.gov/uac/Questions-and-Answers-on-the-Individual-Shared-Responsibility-Provision. See item 12 once at the site.
You may however want to use a Lake Chapala , Mexican street address as your tax filing address rather than a US Street address. Handy Mail (mail service ) gives the choice of using your San Antonio, Tla. address (where you pick up your mail from outside Mexico) or your mail forwarding address in Laredo, Texas which seems to show you live in Laredo, Texas and not Mexico.
Sid”s Disclaimer: I was once a practicing attorney, but never practiced tax law in any shape form or fashion.

DO NOT CONSIDER THIS ARTICLE AS TAX ADVICE, LEGAL ADVICE OR HEALH CARE ADVICE. This is just my personal opinion based on my own research. CONSULT COMPETENT LEGAL ADVICE.
Do you know why Lawyers say they “practice law”? We say that because we keep practicing on our clients in the hope that someday we’ll get it right.

Tu Amigo, Sid
  • Bear

    Thanks, Sid, for doing this research for us. You answered my question: Under this unbelievably complicated new law, Medicare enrollees are considered to have insurance. If your readers have questions, and because our situations are all a little different, I would encourage them to go to the link you provided, speak with their stateside insurance agents or ask their attorney for advice. So, on we go!

  • Sid Grosvenor

    Hi Bear, Thanks, Always best to go to the source. Tu amigo, Sid

  • CritAir

    SID, ENJOY YOUR COLUMN. I AND FRIENDS, FAMILY AND ACQUAINTANCES HAVE DECIDED TO START CALLING THE HEALTH CARE LAW BY ITS PROPER NAME. ” AFFORDABLE CARE”. PLEASE ONE AND ALL, WHETHER PRO OR CON, LET’S NOT CALL IT OBAMACARE AND START CALLING IT AFFORDABLE CARE. ie, WHAT DO YOU THINK OF AFFORDABLECARE? NOW AS A STAUNCH OPPONENT, I HAVE A PERSONAL INTEREST IN THE NAME CHANGE.
    I MEAN NO DISRESPECT TO ANYONE AND THIS IS JUST A PERSONAL THOUGHT.

  • Sid Grosvenor

    Thanks for commenting, Sid

  • Packrat1

    Excellent article Sid. Just a few days ago I was told this valuable info by a CPA living in the states. Thanks for looking out for all of us expats at Lakeside!

  • Sid Grosvenor

    Hi Packrat1,

    Thanks for taking time to st, “Thanks”. Very thoughtful. Keeps me going.
    Tu amigo, Sid

  • Thomas Dowdy-Winslett

    I have to laugh to keep from screaming. After “opponents” to ACA worked so hard to label it Obamacare, they now want to go back to ACA because Obama chose to “owe” it. Rather than playing semantics, how about we work together to solve the problems that are crippling the US. As someone who has daily dealt with uninsured individuals in need of medical care, the ACA is one step in the right direction. Is it perfect – NO!!! Could it be better, YESSS!!!! Will it get better by obstructionist, political games, no. So can we stop with the political cr@p and stop trying to “get something” from each and every political gambit and for just a moment do something that needs to be done for the well-being of the people of the US. I mean no disrespect to anyone but as someone born into a family who received welfare who has made it into the working middle class, I clearly see how recent political “games” have done nothing but make things worse for most of us while those who have the most are coming out with more and more. This must stop or we will destroy ourselves.

Email for more information:
Sid@ChapalaClub.com

Featured Video

Latest Club Posts

Recent Club Comments

  • Mopussyplease: But could you answer on question? If it's so safe down there, why do all of the homes have bars…
  • Mopussyplease: But if you look at the whole country of Mexico and their murder rate vs America's murder rate. Mexico's murder…
  • John: Sid, please do not write about how great the Chapala area is as there are too many Americans and Canadians…
  • Marco Duran: My name is Sofia Huerta 37 y/o and I speak english, italian and spanish I've wroked in UK and Italy…
  • zach zachman: How did you like it Nigel?…
  • Lawrence Bogdon: Where can I get good Mezcal in San Juan Cosala???…
  • Arch Crane: A driver to the airport…

Chapala Webboard

Chapala Club Archives

See all Chapala Club Posts

Chapala Club Topics


Friends of Chapala Club