by Michael Lodge
If you are going to get married or just newly married, now would be a good time to check your healthcare coverage before the end of the year. This will affect your tax return.
If you’re recently married, you probably have a list of things to do. There’s one other thing you should add to that list: a health insurance review. This is particularly important if you enrolled in coverage through a Health Insurance Marketplace and you receive premium assistance in the form of advance payments of the premium tax credit.
When you apply for assistance to help pay the premiums for health coverage through the Marketplace, the Marketplace will estimate the amount of the premium tax credit that you may be able to claim for the tax year using information you provide. This information includes details about your family composition and your projected household income.
It is important for you to report life changes – known as changes in circumstances – to your Marketplace to get the proper type and amount of financial assistance and to avoid getting too much or too little in advance. Reporting changes in circumstances will allow the Marketplace to adjust your advance credit payments. This adjustment will help you avoid getting a smaller refund or owing money that you did not expect to owe on your federal tax return.
To report changes and to adjust the amount of your advance payments of the premium tax credit you must contact your Health Insurance Marketplace. Be sure to report all changes directly to that Marketplace because they can affect both your coverage and your final credit when you file your federal tax return.
Other changes you should report to the Marketplace include:
• Birth or adoption
• Marriage or divorce
• Moving to a different address
• Increases or decreases in your household income
These changes may also open the door for the Marketplace special enrollment period that permits health care plan changes. In most cases, the special enrollment period for Marketplace coverage is open for 60 days from the date of the life event.
The Premium Tax Credit Change Estimator can help you estimate how your premium tax credit will change if your income or family size changes during the year. This estimator tool does not report changes in circumstances to your Marketplace. Because these tools provide only an estimate, you should not rely upon them as an accurate calculation of the information you will report on your tax return. You should use these estimators only as a guide to assist you in making decisions regarding your tax situation.