You guys, I'm posting on a Sunday. I know, I can't believe it either. I almost never post on the weekends, but I'll be taking Thursday and Friday off from work to celebrate Thanksgiving weekend with my family, so today seemed like the perfect day to pop in and post about a practical topic, and one that affects all of us - health care. I've written about health care and taxes (which I'll be touching on as well, because they're actually related here) a couple of times in the past, but with open enrollment season upon us, it's a good time to revisit. And although the topics of health care and taxes might seem unusual for a lifestyle and design blog, they're a part of our real lives, and I think they have an important place - even on a blog about pretty things. Read on for my personal story and you'll see what I mean.
During the last open enrollment period, we made the decision to transition from employer insurance through my husband's job to utilizing the open enrollment period and researching insurance through the marketplace to find a different plan. We now had a baby in our family, and we felt like we needed to explore our options. Although we eventually we did settle on a new provider and plan, there were times that the process was confusing. There were a lot of options, a lot of dates to remember, and some things that we didn't understand.
Our journey into getting our own health insurance after having a little one would have likely been much simpler had I had some easy-to-access information in one place, like TurboTax's online healthcare tools. (I found out about them very shortly after we'd already switched.) With another baby arriving in about a month and a half, and after some challenges with our current insurance plan over the past year, we are once again in the process of looking into transitioning to a different company/plan. I am so relieved to be able to access TurboTax's tools to help us make the most informed decision for our soon-to-be family of four - and also to see how they're related to our taxes.
In addition to the key dates infographic you see above, there are several other online tools offered by TurboTax that we've been utilizing to help make our decision - tools that may help many of you as well. This Open Enrollment video is incredibly informative, as is this Income Estimator video. This video explains more about the 1095 A, B and C for Health Insurance that you'll see on your taxes for 2015. And you can find several other videos and tools - from a subsidy calculator to more on income estimating - right here.
Once you decide on your health care policy, you'll need to be informed about it when you do your taxes. Thankfully, TurboTax can help with that as well. They offer a free suite of tools and calculators to help people understand how the ACA will affect their taxes. And they don't charge tax payers any extra fees for health care-related forms to comply with the ACA. For nearly 80% of taxpayers, reporting their health insurance this year again will be as easy as checking a box to indicate they have health insurance. You just answer a few basic questions about your life, and they do all the rest. In fact, reporting your health insurance status in TurboTax is so straightforward, you can easily do it on your smartphone or tablet. It's a great feeling to know that not only will their tools help us figure out with policy is best for us, they'll help us as tax time too.
Health insurance is confusing, and taxes can be too. It's something we're working on ourselves right now, and with open enrollment here, it really did seem like the perfect time to share these online tools and info with you. Now you can head into Thanksgiving week with one less stress about your family's healthcare and taxes, and just focus on enjoying your time together. Awwww.
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