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insurance coverage in that country.

 

 

---CAJA COVERAGE IS NOT MEDICAL INSURANCE.

 

IN FACT, IF YOU CAREFULLY READ WHAT IS ON THE ARCR WEBSITE AND IF THIS IS CORRECT, THEY STATE THAT THIS IS NOT AN INSURANCE PLAN AND THAT TO BE COVERED MEDICALLY HERE IN COSTA RICA REQUIRES THAT YOU MUST ONLY BE AFFILATED WITH THE CAJA.

 

RICK

Edited by tibas9

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What if you spend more than 35 days in the US, are you then required to buy the insurance, or pay the penalty? Again, there are things that need clarification.

 

Interesting ... So, Day #36 could cost you $2000. If there were no exception, I would probably just stay out of the US and be done with the whole mess.

 

Personally, I wondered what the definition of coverage means ... maybe I can buy a policy with a $100k deductible for $1 per year and be covered?

Edited by ncdad1

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---CAJA COVERAGE IS NOT MEDICAL INSURANCE.

 

IN FACT, IF YOU CAREFULLY READ WHAT IS ON THE ARCR WEBSITE AND IF THIS IS CORRECT, THEY STATE THAT THIS IS NOT AN INSURANCE PLAN AND THAT TO BE COVERED MEDICALLY HERE IN COSTA RICA REQUIRES THAT YOU MUST ONLY BE AFFILATED WITH THE CAJA.

 

RICK

 

That is what I mean, the US and IRS are not going to recognize anything but insurance sold by a US conpany.

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Dana, I think you might be jumping ahead to "Z" without having "C through X."

 

Does anyone know, really, how this will be implemented with regard to US citizens living in another country? What are the exemptions or "loopholes"? Perhaps we just need to wait a while until things become more clear.

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ECR: The main concern is for those who are not yet covered by Medicare, those who are don't have to worry. But if you are not, then you need to be concerned about how this will affect you.

 

 

 

----Many Medicare recipients opt-out of Part B Medicare because they are required to pay around $100.00 a month while Part A Medicare is Free. Will see down-the-road if only carrying Part A will meet the test of having a Medical Insurance plan :unsure:

 

Rick

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Two things:

 

Medicare Part A is free (having been pre-paid through the years, I guess). So when you are receiving it, you aren't paying for coverage. Consequently, would that meet the requirement of having to buy insurance?

 

Is Medicare considered a tax?

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I'm just speculating here, but would guess that anyone covered by Medicare would be exempt. The point is to cover uninsured adults and kids (and pre-existing conditions), not to impose additional reqts on seniors. Just my two cents, here.

 

 

regards,

Gayle

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Well, here's what the law actually says. Obviously, the entire law is much more complex than this, but for retirees or actual CR residents, the provisions don't seem that complicated.

 

In short (my interpretation - NOT legal advice): if you're covered by Medicare or a government health plan for veterans, that meets the mandate's requirement. If not, but you're a full time resident of CR (i.e., if you would qualify for the earned income tax credit IF you had earned income) then the mandate doesn't apply.

 

And here's the actual language.

 

#1) this is the mandate (note that it applies on a month-to-month basis):

 

Sec. 5000A. [26 USC 5000A]

"a) Requirement to maintain minimum essential coverage.

An applicable individual shall for each month beginning after 2013 ensure that the individual, and any dependent of the individual who is an applicable individual, is covered under minimum essential coverage for such month."

 

#2) several government programs including Medicare and Tricare are deemed to meet the "minimum essential coverage" requirement:

 

‘‘(f) MINIMUM ESSENTIAL COVERAGE.—For purposes of this section—

‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—The term ‘minimum essential coverage’ means any of the following:

‘‘(A) GOVERNMENT SPONSORED PROGRAMS.—Coverage under—

‘‘(i) the Medicare program under part A of title XVIII of the Social Security Act,

* * *

‘‘(iv) the TRICARE for Life program,

‘‘(v) the veteran’s health care program under chapter 17 of title 38, United States Code . . .

 

#3) here is the part most relevant to expats who are NOT covered by Medicare or Veterans' health programs:

 

"(f) MINIMUM ESSENTIAL COVERAGE.—For purposes of this section. . .

 

‘‘(4) INDIVIDUALS RESIDING OUTSIDE UNITED STATES OR RESIDENTS OF TERRITORIES.—Any applicable individual shall be treated as having minimum essential coverage for any month—

‘‘(A) if such month occurs during any period described in subparagraph (A) or (B) of section 911(d)(1) which is applicable to the individual"

 

#4 - so section 911(d)(1), which defines those eligible for the earned income tax credit, also defines expats who are exempt from the insurance mandate:

 

"911(d)(1) Qualified individual

The term “qualified individual” means an individual whose tax home is in a foreign country and who is—

(A) a citizen of the United States and establishes to the satisfaction of the Secretary that he has been a bona fide resident of a foreign country or countries for an uninterrupted period which includes an entire taxable year, or

(B) a citizen or resident of the United States and who, during any period of 12 consecutive months, is present in a foreign country or countries during at least 330 full days in such period."

 

 

The entire law is here: http://www.gpo.gov/f...-111publ148.pdf

Edited by pro-bono

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Thanks so much, pro-bono, for finding this information and posting it for us. I hope this will end all the speculation and angst. I really appreciate your time and energy.

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. I don't believe anyone choosing to move to another country shoud expect "a deal". I sure don't.

 

---From reading the many posts on this Forum you and a few others are surely the EXCEPTIONS in not wanting A DEAL. AND I commend you for this thinking.

 

RICK

Edited by tibas9

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Not sure the current law to tax for health care is the best way to manage care and cost for the States. I am republican. However we are taxed for many things unlabeled that we do not get benefit of. There are cost of providing care to the uninsured that at present is covered by all of us. The cost being singled out is a political thing. Why not single out all taxes and give us an idea of what we are paying for. At present we would probably not want to know what are tax dollars are going for. Lastly if the funds for the taxes would translate into a better state of health for the people few would complain hopefully. My experience is that there often is a gap between the intent of taxes raised and what happens to the funds. Will we need to use the revenue to pay for another war, the projected short fall for social security or whatever else the people that we elected will allow. Looking at the roads here we will need help paying for maintenance or learn that pay as you go limiting new roads for special private projects and the like is not in the interest of the majority.

 

Gambler 93

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Isn't there a sizeable exemption before you have to pay U.S. income tax on money earned in another country? Has that exemption disappeared?

Here are a few links that may help. But generally, the US assesses income tax all worldwide income unless specifically excluded. There is a foreign tax credit so that if you pay taxes on that income in CR you can deduct the amount for purposes of paying US income tax.

Re Foreign Income Tax Credit: http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc856.html

IRS Tax Tips with those with foreign income: http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=255736,00.html

Foreign Earned Income Exclusion: http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/international/article/0,,id=97130,00.html

 

Please note that you have to be out of country for 330 days of the year (along with other requirements) to qualify for the exclusion. Whenever possible, try to qualify for an exclusion first (income is not included <as opposed to adjusting Gross Income, thus tax rate> for income tax purposes), then a credit (credit is used to pay any taxes) before a deduction (deducting the amount - in this case it could be only the amount of income tax paid to CR) which simply reduces your gross income.

 

Sorry, to be a tax geek, but this is what I do to augment my itty bitty pension and have been doing some research for myself. (I have only once, in seven years, had someone from Oroville have any foreign income (and in his case, tax) to worry about.) Also remember that you may be affected by the new FBAR (too close to FUBAR for me) on any assets you have out of the US (including, apparently, real property.) Not an expert, just a geek.

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Not sure the current law to tax for health care is the best way to manage care and cost for the States. I am republican. However we are taxed for many things unlabeled that we do not get benefit of. There are cost of providing care to the uninsured that at present is covered by all of us. The cost being singled out is a political thing. Why not single out all taxes and give us an idea of what we are paying for. At present we would probably not want to know what are tax dollars are going for. Lastly if the funds for the taxes would translate into a better state of health for the people few would complain hopefully. My experience is that there often is a gap between the intent of taxes raised and what happens to the funds. Will we need to use the revenue to pay for another war, the projected short fall for social security or whatever else the people that we elected will allow. Looking at the roads here we will need help paying for maintenance or learn that pay as you go limiting new roads for special private projects and the like is not in the interest of the majority.

 

Gambler 93

I live in Northern California, in a financially depressed area, and conservatively, 40% of the population is on welfare and Medi-Cal, so I am already paying for their health insurance and not getting to use it. As a result, I must pay almost 700 a month (out of a 1300 pension) and can not even get on the county medical plan because, as a retired person, I can still have access to a group health insurance plan even if it costs the earth. I personally am thrilled that we are finally looking at health care for ALL not just those on welfare, members of congress or those with a job that allows you benefits. If this had been enacted before this, I would not be so disgusted with the "State of the Union" and looking to relocate. Regardless of politics, you must admit that the cost to me and others in my predicament is onerous. I am sure that there will be all the inherent problems with any plan to try to make things more equal but I am ready to throw in the towel.

 

Just my 2 colones worth. I will be watching this closely, as this may make returning to the US if CR does not work out possible, but still plan to move out of the US.

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Hey Rick,

 

Don't mean to disagree, but . . .

 

This is the first I have ever heard of that bit about the CAJA and I'm not sure that it's correct.

 

Have you confirmed this with Ryan? How recently?

 

Regards,

 

Paul M.

==

 

 

 

 

I always thought the ARCR people had it screwed up some-how regarding not covering my Tica wife under my anticipated CAJA ARCR group plan. But over the years I’ve heard here and there, more or less confirming what Rick has posted.

 

 

 

Several years ago ARCR gave me the following option to cover my Tica wife (at the time I was a resident). I was told that she could be on my plan as a family member dependent and that was the only option for her through ARCR. She was not allowed to have her stand-alone CAJA coverage through ARCR. I was told she could go directly to CAJA if she wanted her own coverage not as a dependent of mine. So we both went directly to CAJA rather than continue to argue with ARCR over it.

 

 

 

It was probably explained to me at the time why that was but I never understood. But thinking back on it, it probably had something to do with her Costa Rican nationality, since I told them she was Costa Rican. Perhaps the ARCR/CAJA negotiated contract for the group rate terms specified such.

 

 

 

Now I guess that’s all water under the bridge since if my understanding is correct there are no more group plan rates offered through ARCR.

Edited by Ticochico

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