logo
Featured on 40:     HRL: Smith Vocational     Gas Tracker     40's Friends     Brittany vs. Pie     Weather Discussion    

Do Americans living abroad have to buy U.S. health insurance?

Do Americans living abroad have to buy U.S. health insurance?

Q. I am an American citizen but have lived abroad for the past eight years. Do I have to enroll in a U.S. insurance plan because of the new health law? I carry insurance in the country I live in.

A. No, you don’t have to buy anything as long as you are living in another country. The IRS has stated that if you live abroad for a calendar year (or at least 330 days within a 12-month period), it will treat you as if you have the required “minimum essential coverage” regardless of your actual health insurance situation.

However, if you move back to the U.S. you’ll need to get yourself some insurance as soon as possible through your state’s Health Insurance Marketplace. You can do this even if it’s not the annual open enrollment period (this year only it started Oct. 1 and ends March 31 but in subsequent years will run from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7). A permanent move, whether from another country or within the U.S., gives you a “special enrollment opportunity” at any time of year.

Got a question for our health insurance expert? Ask it here.

— Nancy Metcalf

Health reform countdown: We are doing an article a day on the new health care law until Jan. 1, 2014, when it takes full effect. (Read the previous posts in the series.) To get health insurance advice tailored to your situation, use our Health Law Helper.

Consumer Reports has no relationship with any advertisers or sponsors on this website. Copyright © 2007-2013 Consumers Union of U.S.

Subscribe now!
Subscribe to ConsumerReports.org for expert Ratings, buying advice and reliability on hundreds of products.


Update your feed preferences


Comments

WGGB encourages readers to share their thoughts and engage in healthy dialogue about the issues. Comments containing personal attacks, profanity, offensive language or advertising will be removed. Please use the report comment function for any posts you feel should be reviewed. Thank you.
blog comments powered by Disqus