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Transition Talk

by Mike Arsenault - Director of Candidate Services

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credit check of a military job seeker

Bradley-Morris answers questions from transitioning military job seekers.

Q: I am transitioning out in 2014 and I’m confused about the new healthcare laws, specifically the individual shared responsibility provision under the Affordable Care Act. Will I need to carry health insurance immediately on the day I transition out or face a fine? What are the healthcare rules for transitioning military?

A: With so much uncertainty in Washington recently, it’s difficult to know what legislation has passed, what has been held up or what is still in committee. The Affordable Care Act, which is commonly referred to as Obamacare, is indeed law and the provisions within the Act, as of this writing, remain active.


That said, beginning January 1, 2014, all Americans will be required to carry “minimal essential coverage” which will need to be reported on 2015 tax returns as this is a provision in the law. According to IRS.gov, this provision includes “every man, woman and child regardless of age”, however, there are exceptions, which you can review at IRS.gov.


Regarding the fines, the website says, “An individual who chooses not to carry insurance will have to pay a fine of $95 or 1 percent of [his/her] income above a certain threshold (whichever is larger). In 2016 and beyond, the fine increases to $695 per person or 2.5 percent of taxable annual income.”

If you still aren’t sure what constitutes “minimum essential coverage,” you’re not alone. However, the Federal Government promises that all answers about the Affordable Care Act can be found at Healthcare.gov, stating, “The Health Insurance Marketplace will help qualified individuals find minimum essential coverage that fits their budget and, potentially, financial assistance to help with the costs of coverage beginning in 2014.”

As for my advice, it’s always important to make sure you and your family are covered. I would suggest exploring the different Tricare options as well as employer-based insurance programs for coverage to ensure compliance and guard against the unexpected.

 

Mike Arsenault is Director of Candidate Services at military placement firm Bradley-Morris, Inc. He can be reached at (800) 330-4950 ext. 2105 or by email at marsenault (at) bradley-morris.com.

Return to November/December 2013 Issue