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New health insurance options become available on October 1, 2018. Please read the following story published by Minnesota Public Radio on Oct 1, 2018 and also see the link to United Healthcare regarding the new options.

MPR Story               Link to UNH

Starting January 1, 2019, the penalty for not having essential minimum coverage drops to ZERO. In other words, there is no tax penalty for going without coverage or for going with one of the less comprehensive plans as described in the above story.

This development provides consumers an alternative to very expensive health insurance. Make sure you understand the coverage limitations before signing up AND try to save money in a separate savings account that is earmarked exclusively for your out of pocket healthcare expenses, knowing you may have large out of pocket responsibilities when going with a short term plan.  Short Term plans will not meet the requirements allowing a taxpayer to contribute to a health savings account, however, a regular non-deductible savings account may be used for a similar purpose.

Individuals must provide health insurance for themselves and their dependents. (Thru 12-31-18)

Forms 1095-A is an important form and must be included with your tax information, since it

reconciles any premium subsidy received from the government.

Bundling your medical coverage with an HSA (Health Savings Account) is often the most efficient way to organize coverage.

Self employed individuals may deduct 100% of the cost of their health insurance premiums from adjusted gross income. HSA contributions are also deductible up to certain contribution limits.

Purchasing coverage through your employer will usually result in your share of premiums being paid on a "pre-tax" basis, which is a real money saver.

Individuals (not self-employed) who buy coverage in the private marketplace or through an exchange will deduct premiums on Schedule A (subject to a 7.5% threshold) and probably not yield much of a tax benefit from the deduction. HSA contributions will be deductible as an adjustment to income.

Failure to carry coverage no longer involves a penalty. 

Anyone receiving a "premium subsidy" will reconcile that subsidy when they file their tax return. The health insurance exchange will issue a Form 1095-A which is needed to make this reconciliation. Based on the outcome of this reconciliation, a refund or balance due may result on the 1040.