CAN I DEDUCT MY HEALTH INSURANCE PREMIUMS ON MY INCOME TAX RETURN?
If you are self-employed you can deduct your health insurance premiums. However, if you work for an employer who provides health insurance, you cannot deduct the premiums or portion of your premium that your employer pays, only the portion of the premium that you contribute.
CAN I DEDUCT THE MEDICAL EXPENSES THAT MY INSURANCE DOES NOT COVER ON MY INCOME TAX RETURN?
Yes, you can deduct the amount of your medical and dental expenses that is more than 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income. You cannot include any medical and dental expenses paid by the plan or by a flexible spending account for medical expenses.
CAN I BUY HEALTH INSURANCE IF I HAVE A SERIOUS ILLNESS SUCH AS AIDS OR DIABETES, OR IF I HAVE A CHRONIC CONDITION SUCH AS HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE OR ASTHMA?
Coverage cannot be denied under a group health insurance plan, if your employer offers one, nor can you be required to pay more for your health insurance based on your health status.
You may be subject to a preexisting condition exclusion period if you have just purchased a new, individual health plan. This is generally a time during which a health plan will not pay for covered care relating to any condition (physical or mental) for which advice, diagnosis, care or treatment was recommended or received within the six-month period immediately preceding enrolling in the health plan.
If you are HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) eligible, however, you must be offered at least some type of individual health insurance with no preexisting condition periods. To be HIPPA eligible, you must have had 19 months of continuous creditable health insurance coverage, used up any COBRA or state continuation coverage, and must not be eligible for Medicare or Medicaid.
DO I NEED TO ALERT MY INSURANCE COMPANY IF I AM EXPECTING A BABY?
Yes. Some plans, such as “Basic and Essential” health plans, may not cover the expenses associated with having a baby. Others may have special programs or options available to give you and your baby a healthy start in life. Be sure to check with your provider when you find out you are having a baby to ensure that you are adequately prepared.
WILL MY HEALTH INSURANCE PAY MY MEDICAL EXPENSES OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES?
Check with your health insurance carrier to find out what type of coverage you have when traveling abroad and what the coverage limits are. Also, ask if the policy will pay to fly you home or to a country with first-rate medical care. If your plan provides coverage outside the U.S., be sure to carry your insurance policy identity card with you, as well as a claim form. Although many companies will pay “customary and reasonable” hospital costs abroad, very few will pay for your medical evacuation back to the U.S. and these costs can easily come to $10,000 and up, depending on your location and medical condition.
Medicare does not provide coverage for hospital or medical costs outside of the country.
If your health plan does not provide adequate overseas coverage, you can consider purchasing separate Emergency Medical Assistance and Evacuation policy, a form of travel insurance.
WHAT IF I AM DISABLED AND CAN’T WORK?
If you are disabled or unable to work as a result of an accident or illness, disability income insurance, which complements health insurance, can replace lost income. There are basically three ways to replace income:
1. Employer-paid disability insurance
2. Social Security disability benefits
3. Individual disability income insurance policies
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