FAQ’s Basics for International Expats and the ACA…

International Expats Abroad – GeoBlue Has You Covered…

There continues to be so much confusion about how the Affordable Care Act affects  the International Expat living abroad.  With as many as 6+ million Americans living abroad there are many people who have lots of questions about how the ACA affects them.  Here is a short list of 7 FAQ’s that may help answer some of the more common questions we hear from those currently living abroad or considering a move…

  1. Are U.S. Citizens living outside the U.S. affected by the ACA?  You are exempt from ACA rules if you live outside the U.S. for 330 days or more per calendar year.  You meet ACA requirements if you are covered by an expatriate group plan purchased in the U.S. by your employer.  Certain rules apply if you don’t fall into either of these categories.
  2. Are non-U.S. Citizens living inside the U.S. affected by the ACA?  ACA rules apply if you are a permanent legal resident (Green Card Holder) or a resident alien as defined by the IRS.  Foreign Nationals who are here for study, vocation, or teaching are typically exempted from IRS tax penalties.
  3. Does travel outside the U.S. affect a U.S. resident’s obligation under the ACA?   No, short-term travel outside the U.S. has no bearing on a U.S. resident’s obligation under the ACA.
  4. Are non-U.S. citizens traveling inside the U.S. affected by the ACA?  No unless you are a permanent legal resident or a resident alien, you are typically exempt from ACA requirements.
  5. What ACA rules apply?  If you are subject to ACA rules, you are expected to meet the Individual Mandate each calendar year, or you will be subject to tax penalties when you file your Federal Tax Return – unless you meet one of the exemptions listed by the IRS.
  6. Do plans that meet the Individual Mandate function well outside the U.S.?  Plans that are available through healthcare.gov, online exchanges operated by certain states, as well as websites operated by health insurers and health insurance brokers, are not designed for care outside the U.S.  So they expose the policy holder to significant financial risk.  Patients outside the U.S. bear substantial costs of medical emergencies, preventive care, or routine illnesses when they purchase a plan that meets the Individual Mandate.
  7. Should Expats purchase an expat plan and domestic plan?  It depends on a number of factors, such as your income levels, travel itinerary, and your choice of health plan.  Some expatriates purchase a Bronze ACA Compliant plan for the U.S. coverage and supplement it with an overseas expat policy.  Others will buy an expat policy with overseas and U.S. coverage combined.

For U.S. Citizens or foreign nationals that live in the United States or work for a U.S. based company GeoBlue has three Expatriate Plans to choose from depending on your individual situation.  This is where I can help.  I work daily with both outbound and inbound expats helping them find the right plan or combination of plans to meet their needs.

Visit our website at www.Individualhealth.com and explore many of the plan options available.  If you have questions call me @ (619) 435-6700 or send them to me at “sales@individualhealth.com“.  GeoBlue is a U.S. based insurer and it carries the power of the Blue Cross Blue Shield branding and access to their Networks when in the United States.  Outside the U.S. they offer one of the best Global Networks for care on the planet.  The International Medical Plans from GeoBlue are about a good as it gets.

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