PARSIPPANY, N.J., Dec. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In most states, today is the deadline by which an individual must apply for health insurance for it to be effective by the first of the year. For taxpayers who miss this initial deadline, or may be confused by their options, not to worry. Jackson Hewitt® will help customers understand their new options under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) at the time of tax preparation. So, for those looking to have coverage effective at the next available window—February 1, 2014—they'll want to swing by their nearest Jackson Hewitt location right after the New Year. Some customers who are eligible for Medicaid may even qualify for coverage retroactive to January 1, 2014.
After the Holidays, the first time most families have available cash is when they receive their tax refund during the tax filing season. The refund amounts are considerable: for the 2011 tax year, the average federal refund for families with incomes between $15,000 and $50,000 exceeded $2,800. Indeed, the federal tax refund represents the largest single "paycheck" that most American families receive during the year. And these are precisely the families that the ACA is intended to benefit (i.e., those between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level). Since the tax refund is so important for these taxpayers, they shouldn't risk losing a portion of that to a tax penalty for being uninsured.
"We know that many taxpayers have had trouble signing up for coverage," said Brian Haile, senior vice president for Health Care Policy, Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc. "We can help our paid tax prep customers with the government process for no additional fee."
For taxpayers who are eligible for Medicaid or CHIP, Jackson Hewitt will help complete the necessary application forms to apply for coverage. For those uninsured and who qualify for tax credits, Jackson Hewitt makes it easy to figure out if they may be eligible for a tax credit to help pay for health coverage.
Jackson Hewitt reminds taxpayers of the following important points:
1. Taxes and health care are connected. What people qualify for under the ACA depends on
how much money they make and how many people they have in their family.
2. Insurance coverage may be free for some eligible customers. For other taxpayers the
cost of insurance will depend on their age, where they live and if they smoke or not. Taxpayers
may also qualify for a big tax credit to help pay for insurance. Coverage under Medicaid and the
Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is generally free.
3. People may be charged a tax penalty if they don't have health insurance in 2014. Even
having one uninsured person in your tax household can be enough to trigger a penalty for the
whole family. In the first year that penalty will generally be almost 1% of the household income.
Each year, the penalty for not having health insurance will get bigger.
For more information about the Affordable Care Act and its impact on taxpayers, or to find the nearest Jackson Hewitt location, visit www.JacksonHewitt.com.
*Ask Tax Pro for details. Consistent with State law, we do not provide advice about the selection of qualified health plans and instead refer such queries to a properly-licensed third-party or to the insurance marketplace.
About Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc.
Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc. is an industry-leading provider of full service individual federal and state income tax preparation, with approximately 6,500 franchised and company-owned locations throughout the United States, including locations in Walmart stores nationwide, and Sears stores in the United States and Puerto Rico in the 2014 tax season. Jackson Hewitt Tax Service also offers an online tax preparation product atwww.JacksonHewittOnline.com. For more information, or to locate your neighborhood Jackson Hewitt office, visit www.JacksonHewitt.com or call 1-800-234-1040. Jackson Hewitt can also be found on Facebook and Twitter. Most offices are independently owned and operated.
Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc.
SOURCE Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc.