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K1 Visa Tax Question - Healthcare Requirement

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Hello all, 

 

I am new to your site and thought I would post a question that I can't seem to find an answer for.

My finance came in 2018 and we married on a K1 Visa.  She received her work and travel permit in mid-December. 

Now that she has a social security number I will have to do our taxes as Married filing Jointly, I believe. 

 

As I work through the process, I come to the Obamacare questionnaire about how many months I or she had health coverage.

Im self-employed and had marketplace coverage for most of the year last year. I was not able to get qualifying coverage for her yet

because she wasnt a citizen and had no SSN for most of the year. 

Here's the rub: It appears to be penalizing us for her not having coverage for the whole year,

yet because of her status, she didnt qualify to get coverage to begin with.  Catch 22?

 

Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

 

Thank you

 

Jason

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, jasonatlantica said:

Hello all, 

 

I am new to your site and thought I would post a question that I can't seem to find an answer for.

My finance came in 2018 and we married on a K1 Visa.  She received her work and travel permit in mid-December. 

Now that she has a social security number I will have to do our taxes as Married filing Jointly, I believe. 

 

As I work through the process, I come to the Obamacare questionnaire about how many months I or she had health coverage.

Im self-employed and had marketplace coverage for most of the year last year. I was not able to get qualifying coverage for her yet

because she wasnt a citizen and had no SSN for most of the year. 

Here's the rub: It appears to be penalizing us for her not having coverage for the whole year,

yet because of her status, she didnt qualify to get coverage to begin with.  Catch 22?

 

Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

 

Thank you

 

Jason

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hmm......not sure what you mean: it is not a requirement to be a US citizen to have health insurance coverage.....

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She could have gotten a SSN when she entered the country on her K-1. 

That being said she could have gotten insurance even though she didn’t have a SSN. 


K-1 + K-2:                                                                                                                                AOS from K-1 + K-2:

02/02/16....I-129F mailed to Lewisville, TX                                                                       08/25/16....AOS package mailed to Chicago, IL

02/03/16....Delivered at Lewisville, TX                                                                               08/26/16....Delivered at Chicago, IL

02/08/16....NOA1 Text & E-mail. Case sent to CSC                                                         09/01/16....NOA1 Text & E-mail

02/12/16....NOA1 Hard copy received                                                                               09/09/16....NOA1 Hard copy received

03/24/16....NOA2 (45 days)                                                                                                 09/15/16....Bio-letter received for K-1/K-2 for Sep. 26th

03/29/16....NOA2 Hard copy received                                                                               09/19/16....Bio appointment done (Walk-in)

03/31/16....Medical                                                                                                              11/01/16.....EAD/AP approved

05/26/16....Interview                                                                                                            11/16/16.....EAD/AP card received

06/10/16....Visa in hand                                                                                                       03/08/17.....AOS Approved - No interview

06/21/16....POE Atlanta                                                                                                       03/15/17.....Green cards in hand

07/30/16....Wedding                                                                                                    

                                                                                                                                       

 

ROC from K-1 + K-2:

12/08/18....ROC window opens

12/13/18....I-751 mailed to Lewisville, TX

12/14/18....Delivered at Lewisville, TX

12/20/18....Text with case number. TX service center

12/24/18....NOA1/Extension letter received

 

 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Jorgedig said:

Hmm......not sure what you mean: it is not a requirement to be a US citizen to have health insurance coverage.....

That's correct.  That was Obama who created the "FINE" for not having insurance which was collected when you do your taxes.  I thought President TRUMP cancelled that nonsense.

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9 minutes ago, David & Zoila said:

That's correct.  That was Obama who created the "FINE" for not having insurance which was collected when you do your taxes.  I thought President TRUMP cancelled that nonsense.

The penalty is still in place for fiscal year 2018. It will no longer be present for fiscal year 2019.

 

OP: For 2018 the law still applies that a person who is eligible for health insurance purchase that health insurance or pay a penalty. The penalty is based on when that eligibility period begins, which will be different for everyone. Unfortunately it sounds like the OP's fiancé-now-spouse did not obtain health insurance when immediately eligible, so a significant period of time elapsed without insurance, meaning a penalty will be incurred. The OP also did not obtain an SSN for the spouse until later, which is not required for health insurance, but probably made things a little more complicated/confusing. It is generally based around how many months that window was open, not for an entire year... unless the OP's spouse has been here an entire year without health insurance. My suggestion would be to see a tax representative to answer your questions and properly file the return. OP, for future reference there is nothing that would have prevented your spouse from signing up to the marketplace (if that was the way you wanted to obtain insurance). If you married immediately and filed for AOS, your eligibility would have kicked in as soon as you had the NOA1. Waiting further for an EAD or green card further pushes your window out into expiration of eligibility under a special qualifier and would absolutely make that penalty kick in. The longer you delay, the worse it gets. Besides the marketplace there also was other ways your spouse could have obtained health insurance via other means, without needing to wait for the soonest qualifier (AOS NOA1) preventing the penalty from ever applying. For instance you could have bought a plan from a company directly or added them to your work plan if you had it. It's unfortunate, but a lot of couples just aren't aware.


K-1 - AOS & ROC Timeline  - Immigration and the Health Exchange Price of Love in the UK Thinking of Returning to UK?

 

First met: 12/31/04 - Engaged: 9/24/09
Filed I-129F: 10/4/14 - Packet received: 10/7/14
NOA 1 email + ARN assigned: 10/10/14 (hard copy 10/17/14)
Touched on website (fixed?): 12/9/14 - Poked USCIS: 4/1/15
NOA 2 email: 5/4/15 (hard copy 5/11/15)
Sent to NVC: 5/8/15 - NVC received + #'s assigned: 5/15/15 (estimated)
NVC sent: 5/19/15 - London received/ready: 5/26/15
Packet 3: 5/28/15 - Medical: 6/16/15
Poked London 7/1/15 - Packet 4: 7/2/15
Interview: 7/30/15 - Approved!
AP + Issued 8/3/15 - Visa in hand (depot): 8/6/15
POE: 8/27/15

Wedding: 9/30/15

Filed I-485, I-131, I-765: 11/7/15

Packet received: 11/9/15

NOA 1 txt/email: 11/15/15 - NOA 1 hardcopy: 11/19/15

Bio: 12/9/15

EAD + AP approved: 1/25/16 - EAD received: 2/1/16

RFE for USCIS inability to read vax instructions: 5/21/16 (no e-notification & not sent from local office!)

RFE response sent: 6/7/16 - RFE response received 6/9/16

AOS approved/card in production: 6/13/16  

NOA 2 hardcopy + card sent 6/17/16

Green Card received: 6/18/16

USCIS 120 day reminder notice: 2/22/18

Filed I-751: 5/2/18 - Packet received: 5/4/18

NOA 1:  5/29/18 (12 mo) 8/13/18 (18 mo)  - Bio: 6/27/18

 

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You might have a loophole depending on how many days she was here. If she was here 183 days or less in 2018, she isn't considered a resident for the year. Get a calendar and start counting. Maybe you can skate by on 2018. See the definition below. It's either the 183 day rule, or if she received her green card in 2018, then it cuts it to 31 days. I don't think she has her green card yet.

 

What is the 183-Day Rule. The 183-day rule is one of several criteria that comprise the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) 937 tests to establish whether an individual can be considered a bona fide resident of the United States for tax purposes.Mar 25, 2018

Edited by Loren Y

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1 hour ago, David & Zoila said:

That's correct.  That was Obama who created the "FINE" for not having insurance which was collected when you do your taxes.  I thought President TRUMP cancelled that nonsense.

Uh, that is NOT what I meant.  I meant that one does not HAVE to be a US citizen to be eligible for health insurance.

 

And it is really important to have health insurance.  Who wants to pay $3k for an ER visit for flu?

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Thank you for all the responses. 
In answering a few of the issues brought up,  I have marketplace (healthcare.gov) coverage due to my self employment, 

therefore I dont have work insurance to add her to. 

After she arrived in Jan 2018, looked into the marketplace to add her and was rebuffed.  

There's a questionnaire asking if the applicant is a US Citizen or Legal Permanent Resident (Green Card). (Only 2 options presented)

Upon answering No, the message responds with a "Sorry this applicant does not qualify for marketplace coverage at this time."
The healthcare.gov system did not allow us to proceed further, nor were there any options to select other statuses such as H-visas, K-visas, asylum, people in-process of becoming a greencard holder, etc.

I looked into ALL the insurance company options directly including Florida Blue Cross/Shield, Aetna, United, etc and every single one referred me to the healthcare.gov site to sign up for coverage.  Apparently, due to Obamacare they dont allow anyone to sign up for coverage directly anymore.

(Not sure if this is nationwide or strictly a Florida rule)

It seems to me that applying early for a SSN number wouldnt have helped anything, because she still would have to answer "No" to the above citizenship/greencard question.

 

Since she didnt make any money last year she technically doesnt need to file taxes for 2018. When I looked into filing as "Married filing Singly"

The higher taxes I would have to pay seem to be close to the $600 penalty for not having healthcare.

Either way I think Ill end up having to pay.

 

-- Flummoxed in Florida --

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, jasonatlantica said:

Thank you for all the responses. 
In answering a few of the issues brought up,  I have marketplace (healthcare.gov) coverage due to my self employment, 

therefore I dont have work insurance to add her to. 

After she arrived in Jan 2018, looked into the marketplace to add her and was rebuffed.  

There's a questionnaire asking if the applicant is a US Citizen or Legal Permanent Resident (Green Card). (Only 2 options presented)

Upon answering No, the message responds with a "Sorry this applicant does not qualify for marketplace coverage at this time."
The healthcare.gov system did not allow us to proceed further, nor were there any options to select other statuses such as H-visas, K-visas, asylum, people in-process of becoming a greencard holder, etc.

I looked into ALL the insurance company options directly including Florida Blue Cross/Shield, Aetna, United, etc and every single one referred me to the healthcare.gov site to sign up for coverage.  Apparently, due to Obamacare they dont allow anyone to sign up for coverage directly anymore.

(Not sure if this is nationwide or strictly a Florida rule)

It seems to me that applying early for a SSN number wouldnt have helped anything, because she still would have to answer "No" to the above citizenship/greencard question.

 

Since she didnt make any money last year she technically doesnt need to file taxes for 2018. When I looked into filing as "Married filing Singly"

The higher taxes I would have to pay seem to be close to the $600 penalty for not having healthcare.

Either way I think Ill end up having to pay.

 

-- Flummoxed in Florida --

 

 

 

Unfortunately the website really does not allow a person to choose for unique situations, and that's typically why I'd recommend speaking to a marketplace representative (and likely a supervisor) or a health insurance advisor that assists persons to sign up. The requirements under the law provide that one does not have to be an 'official' LPR to sign up. K1s are in a unique situation during their period of adjustment. As you can see here ''adjustment to LPR status'' qualifies. https://www.healthcare.gov/immigrants/immigration-status/ and your qualifying documents are listed here https://www.healthcare.gov/immigrants/documentation/

 

In addition to test for you, I just had a look at Florida Blue, and made up a 'test' application. I'm certainly seeing quotes for plans that would be available to your spouse, just as I purchased healthcare for my own spouse from BCBS. The cost would be anywhere from $398 and upwards depending on the plan. It is not open enrollment, but your spouse would qualify under special enrollment provided you haven't waited too long - and their advice is to call a number or visit a center to speak to someone. Request a supervisor if you are rebuffed. It would be very unlikely there would be any qualification for a subsidy though. If your wife married you for fiscal year 2018, regardless of her non-working status, she can be claimed on your tax return MFJ. This may give you a tax break, even despite having to pay a penalty. The penalty is actually cheaper than a years worth of premiums as you can probably estimate, which is precisely why many still chose to risk having no insurance. Of course since the tax law changed for fiscal year 2018, many have noted having a reduction in their returns or even owing, but there's not a lot you can do without speaking to a tax preparer for better advice.


K-1 - AOS & ROC Timeline  - Immigration and the Health Exchange Price of Love in the UK Thinking of Returning to UK?

 

First met: 12/31/04 - Engaged: 9/24/09
Filed I-129F: 10/4/14 - Packet received: 10/7/14
NOA 1 email + ARN assigned: 10/10/14 (hard copy 10/17/14)
Touched on website (fixed?): 12/9/14 - Poked USCIS: 4/1/15
NOA 2 email: 5/4/15 (hard copy 5/11/15)
Sent to NVC: 5/8/15 - NVC received + #'s assigned: 5/15/15 (estimated)
NVC sent: 5/19/15 - London received/ready: 5/26/15
Packet 3: 5/28/15 - Medical: 6/16/15
Poked London 7/1/15 - Packet 4: 7/2/15
Interview: 7/30/15 - Approved!
AP + Issued 8/3/15 - Visa in hand (depot): 8/6/15
POE: 8/27/15

Wedding: 9/30/15

Filed I-485, I-131, I-765: 11/7/15

Packet received: 11/9/15

NOA 1 txt/email: 11/15/15 - NOA 1 hardcopy: 11/19/15

Bio: 12/9/15

EAD + AP approved: 1/25/16 - EAD received: 2/1/16

RFE for USCIS inability to read vax instructions: 5/21/16 (no e-notification & not sent from local office!)

RFE response sent: 6/7/16 - RFE response received 6/9/16

AOS approved/card in production: 6/13/16  

NOA 2 hardcopy + card sent 6/17/16

Green Card received: 6/18/16

USCIS 120 day reminder notice: 2/22/18

Filed I-751: 5/2/18 - Packet received: 5/4/18

NOA 1:  5/29/18 (12 mo) 8/13/18 (18 mo)  - Bio: 6/27/18

 

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22 hours ago, Jorgedig said:

Uh, that is NOT what I meant.  I meant that one does not HAVE to be a US citizen to be eligible for health insurance.

 

And it is really important to have health insurance.  Who wants to pay $3k for an ER visit for flu?

I never suggested foregoing health insurance.  I agree.  I think anyone who doesn't have insurance is crazy.  It's very expensive but it is totally necessary.  I got my wife added to my government plan before she even arrived in the US.  I'll be retiring April 1st and part of my retirement plan includes, FREE HEALTHCARE COVERAGE FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES.  God Bless America!  david

Edited by David & Zoila

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