Previously American expats who were impacted by the PPACA (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ) had to purchase a USA local compliant health plan as well as an international health insurance policy to provide coverage abroad. Expat Financial is now able to offer the perfect solution for expats who need global Affordable Care Act (ACA) coverage under one policy that gives you both US compliant healthcare and global coverage. Or to put it another way, you shouldn’t need to buy multiple policies anymore in order to meet the Minimum & Essential Coverage (MEC) requirements and avoid the tax penalties.
Cigna International has offered this exclusive plan that to the best of our knowledge is the only ACA compliant medical plan for individual expats on the market. Only a very small number of insurance brokers in the world are allowed to offer the plan to expats and we are very proud to be considered as a key broker partner of Cigna and we can now sell the policy effective November 1st, 2016.
What is the Affordable Care Act?
But for those of your who are asking, what is the Affordable Care Act (ACA), we should give you some insights before, is a United States federal statute enacted by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010, hence the name Obamacare. For more information on PPACA, check out our ACA page.
Which Expats Should Get an ACA Expat Policy?
Well, that depends on several factors and you should get some tax or legal advice just in case, but we can provide some general insights. Obamacare applies to US citizens, legal US residents, resident aliens and non-resident aliens required to file tax forms unless they are exempt. There are several way to be exempt if an expat qualifies for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion by either the Physical Presence test or the Bona Fide Residence test. Generally this will mean being out of the USA for more than 330 days or being a bona fide foreign resident. Most residents of American territories are deemed to have Minimum and Essential Coverage (MEC). Again, best to talk to your tax expert.
How Much Tax Will an Expat Pay?
If you are an expat who is a US taxpayer and you are not excluded from the PPACA rules, then the tax amount will depend on your income. The tax is referred to by the IRS as the “individual shared responsibility payment,” but is most widely known as a tax. Expat individuals or family with an income over $83,400 can pay a penalty equal to 2.5% of their income in 2016 if they don’t meet an individual mandate to obtain compliant healthcare under the PPACA rules. You don’t have to comply – you can simply pay the “tax” instead, but why not put that tax to work with an ACA compliant health plan. Check with your tax professional to see how much you will pay as it varies widely.
Who can Purchase the ACA Expat Health Plan?
To be considered eligible for the Cigna ACA Global Health Plan, you must be under age 65 and a:
- Non-US Nationals residing in the U.S. under an eligible visa or green card (Inbound)
- US Nationals residing out of the U.S. (Outbound)
For expats in the USA, getting a MEC policy is very difficult to obtain before they arrive and they generally want a plan that will provide coverage outside the USA, especially in their home country. Most U.S. policies in the USA don’t provide cover abroad. If you are an American expat living or about to be living abroad and require PPACA compliant health plan, having one global solution seems to be the perfect fit. However, the coverage is quite comprehensive and the premiums may be higher than some are willing to pay.
What does the ACA Global Health Plan Cover?
This comprehensive policy offers a number of benefits for expats, including:
- Worldwide coverage including the USA
- Completely portable coverage for this American style plan
- A wide range of deductibles and coinsurance
- Optional dental, vision and evacuation
- Meets the minimum essential coverage requirements of the PPACA so you can avoid the tax penalty that currently runs at 2.5% of income
- Unlimited maximum with maternity cover
- Covers pre-existing medical conditions! This is a huge benefit of the Cigna plan.
- Great mental health and addiction coverage
Who Can’t Purchase this ACA Global Health Plan?
The plan is not meant for everyone and Cigna can only offer this policy to a select population including:
- US Nationals residing in the U.S. (including US territory includes: Guam, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Northern Marian Islands and Virgin Islands). There are visa requirements to get the policy.
- Non-US national not residing in the U.S.
What Can I Do if I Don’t Qualify or Require an ACA Expat Health Plan?
For expats who don’t qualify for the Cigna ACA plan or simply don’t want one, we still offer their excellent Global Health Options policy from Cigna via our web site. It offers similar coverage with a variety of options and deductible levels to meet almost any budget. Also, you can exclude the USA for additional savings if you don’t require coverage in the United States.
If you do want to get Cigna ACA health plan quote, click the link below.
If you have a tax or legal questions that relates to the PPACA, Obamacare or ACA, it is strongly recommended that you talk to your tax or legal adviser. The above is noted for general information purposes only and not meant to be seen as legal or tax advice.