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Do I need to have health care insurance as a US citizen when I'm away?


by @ericvan6yr  | 5 comments

I support ObamaCare, but I donโ€™t understand about the requirement that USA citizens must now have health insurance. I just got a new plan, and they donโ€™t support any medical needs when Iโ€™m out of the country! So, if working abroad 6 months of year, how do I NOT pay insurance for those months and NOT get a tax penalty? FYI, Iโ€™ll be in a pretty high tax bracket in 2016.

Thanks!

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In addition to the above information already provided, hereโ€™s my take on the matter and what I do, for what itโ€™s worth. Sounds like you might already know all of this, but for othersโ€™ edificationโ€ฆ

  • The penalty in 2015 for not having an eligible insurance plan is 2% of your AGI or $325, whichever is greater. In 2016, that has gone up to 2.5% of your AGI or $695, whichever is greater. This is assessed on your tax return.
  • This year, I bought an international plan from Cigna that doesnโ€™t meet all of the ACA requirements, but is much cheaper (and much better) than a qualifying plan in the US. It works just about anywhere in the world, including the US (for up to 90 days per calendar year).
  • At my income level, I will save money by buying the cheaper (and better) international insurance and paying the tax penalty compared to buying really crappy, expensive insurance in the US that wonโ€™t even work while Iโ€™m out of the country for months at a time.

Thereโ€™s really no way around it and itโ€™s not going to get any better. Seems to me that insurance companies in the US are having a field day this year with the way premiums went up.

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@miquel6yr

Hey @ericvanbuskirk ,

I deal with this as well. The answer is

U.S. citizens living in a foreign country for at least 330 days of a 12-month period are not required to get health insurance coverage for that 12-month period. If youโ€™re uninsured and living abroad under this definition, you qualify for a health insurance exemption. This means you donโ€™t have to pay the fee that other uninsured people must pay.
Source: https://www.healthcare.gov/quick-guide/eligibility/

For your 6-month case, and my 7-month case, Iโ€™m 99% certain that means you need to register for ACA in whatever state you more or less arbitrarily choose to reside in during those months.

I have not spoken with a lawyer about this, primarily because the rule seem so similar to the Foreign Earned Income Exemption (feie). Iโ€™m assuming they used that tax rule as a model. Obviously, as @wanderingdev references, in order to qualify for either rule you will need to stay out for an additional 5 months. Much easier said than done.

On the opposite end of things, I believe you are allowed 90 contiguous days uninsured without being penalized per year. I canโ€™t find that directly on an ACA website but here it is from another: http://obamacarefacts.com/questions/more-than-90-days-without-coverage-do-i-owe-the-fee/

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Iโ€™d talk to an advisor, but youโ€™d be better off all around by trying to qualify for the feie. Youโ€™ll not have to meet the health care requirement and you get the tax break.

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@ericvan6yr

@Miquel and @wanderingdev Thanks for the feedback. Iโ€™ll admit Iโ€™m for Obama Care (although I donโ€™t qualify because of salary). However, when you consider that at least some healthcare companies do NOT cover you when youโ€™re abroad, this defeats the purpose of making Americans have health care. Sure, everyone should have it or be โ€œpunished.โ€ But itโ€™s similar to double taxation if a person works abroad 1/2 the year (something which none of us have to worry about). I canโ€™t do more than 7 months work abroad and shouldnโ€™t be pushed into staying out of the country. True, maybe I can drop it for three months. So, indeed Iโ€™ll have to speak w/ an attorney or accountant that knows about this

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@miquel6yr

I agree with you. While double-taxation is a thing and the US is actually relatively friendly compared to other countries I have heard about, double healthcare does seem silly. The situation to me is reflective of a rule Iโ€™ve discovered in my own life: The broader scope of a policy, the more painful it is to be exceptional. So we just have to pick our times to be exceptional carefully.

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by @orangutan37mo 6 months ago | 1 comment

What are the best places right now in the Caribbean/LatAM? (Also cheapest flights/accommodation?) Asking from the US.

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List of Visa/Residency Information in Table/Spreadsheet format?


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I love living in walkable areas of town. I can always find them. But now I'm wondering where in the world are the most walkable places? I'm imagining walk streets (no cars), zoning allowing both business and residential, parks or beaches ,etc.

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Any nomads in Arizona, US?


in Netherlands by @info1328mo 7 months ago | 4 comments

Hi guys,

After the Netherlands, the Bay Area, Colorado and being on the van life for 8 months, I am now in Sedona, AZ with a few other digital nomads. We are sharing a home here and are wondering if there are more like minded people in the area.

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International number & internet?


by @leobassam8mo 7 months ago | 1 comment

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Are there any tax issues I have to be aware of?


in Germany by @clara8mo 7 months ago | 0 comments

Hi everybody. I live and work in Germany and want to go to Canary Islands for 6 months to work from there. I'm going to keep my current job, just change the "home" in the home office part of things. Are there any tax issues I have to be aware of? I was reading about becoming a residence after 183 days, thus having to pay taxes there plus my employer having to register there. Does anybody know how it works exactly? Thanks a lot!

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Chiang Mai accommodation


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Is anyone travelling right now?


by @viktor8mo 8 months ago | 3 comments

Winter is coming and Iโ€™m feeling the ache of travelling after being stuck in the same place since the Pandemic started. Wondering if anyone is travelling right now? If so, where are you currently located and how is the situation where you are?

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Anyone up to explore some city which is kinda virus safe?


in Bangkok, Thailand by @germanrobert8mo 8 months ago | 2 comments

Hello World!

I'm an experienced Digital Nomad and after being in Lockdown in Bangkok and Germany for one year I would like to team up with someone to visit a new place. Or just doing some exchange about what destinations would be interesting currently.

I take the virus seriously and still I think we can still be able to take our life in our own hands. So I'm aiming for cities/countries which are not in full lockdown, are not too complicated about immigration (I'm looking at you Thailand, your state quarantine costs like 1k USD and is basically a prison) and is also rather safe regarding the virus. I tend to stick for rather big cities and like culture. I'm not a beach or nature person. I'm pretty flexible about the money topic.

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Holร  ! What's the internet / wifi situation in Sayulita ?


in Puerto Escondido, Mexico by @ambroisedebret8mo 8 months ago | 0 comments

After being told it's unworkable in Puerto Escondido, looking for alternatives :)

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How to find accomodation in Las Palmas, Canary Islands


in Las Palmas, Spain by @philippg9mo 8 months ago | 2 comments

Hi, we are trying to find a house to rent for 2-3 persons near Las Palmas for 4-5 months at the moment and it seems to be almost impossible except through Airbnb which is super expensive. Any advises or local contacts?

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If you're American but live in Guatemala, do you still count as American for travel purposes?


in Guatemala by @chasindreams9mo 8 months ago | 0 comments

What I mean is, for example, since most of the EU has banned Americans, if I live in Guatemala and will be traveling FROM Guatemala to the EU, could I get in? Or does the ban count for all Americans regardless of where they live?

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in Ukraine by @reticle9mo 9 months ago | 1 comment

I have a slightly above average US income which I can work remotely from paired with a $1000 a month income stream and more than enough to purchase a middle end Flat in Ukraine. Does anyone with knowledge of this process have any advice to acquire a reliable way to stay in the country?

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Are co-working spaces a good way to meet people in a new city?


by @donaldbough9mo 9 months ago | 1 comment

My fiancรฉe and I are most likely moving to NYC (maybe DC) in August, and as a technical startup co-founder I'd love to meet new people that are also into startups. Would joining a co-working space be worth the money to do this?

I work for a big tech company that has an office in NYC, but it's mainly sales so I wouldn't be able to meet others that are related to any of my 9-5 work or likely into tech.

If co-working spaces, post covid of course, aren't a good way to meet business starting people in a new city, what is?

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Are there any digital nomads in the Islands e.g Bermuda, Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis?


in Antigua, Guatemala by @momo119mo 9 months ago | 3 comments

Does anyone ever travel to any Islands like Bermuda, Barbados, Barbuda and St. Kitts & Nevis?

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Is La Gomera a nice place to stay?


in Norway by @kvarsten10mo 9 months ago | 1 comment

Hi, my name is Eric and I am a remote worker from Norway. Me and a friend is flying into Gran Canaria on Friday and spending two weeks in San Agustin on the south side of the Island.

After that we are pondering about staying in La Gomera. Does anyone of you have an experience staying there or are there anyone of you staying there now? :)

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Is there a map of countries open for travel now?


in Russia by @vernon9911mo 10 months ago | 8 comments

I have two passports from different countries and am trying to understand where can I travel now. Is there a publicly available map of countries open for visitors by passport country that I can use to see what are my options? I was pretty sure such a thing should exist, but cannot easily find any.

Maybe at least there're maps for specific passports? Mine are Russian and American.

If there's no such thing, I'd be down to build one, let me know if interested to collaborate :)

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Any good coliving or other monthly rentals in Seville?


in Seville, Spain by @antoine_th11mo 10 months ago | 0 comments

Hello Everyone

I'm planning to stay in Seville for 6 weeks for mid January - end of February. Do you any recommandations for a coliving or a place to live in?

Thanks ๐Ÿ™

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Are restaurants, cafes and malls working in Mexico City taking into account COVID situation?


in Mexico by @thateverdmitriy11mo 10 months ago | 1 comment

I am planning to travel to Mexico City next weekend and stay for 7-10 days there. I wonder if cafes, stores and other places like these work? And if cafes work, do they work as usual or only for take away&delivery? Will be very thankful if someone can help here.

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