Health insurance subsidy more available to abused spouses through tax change

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An alteration to the law no longer requires victims of domestic abuse to file joint taxes.

health insurance optionsThe Affordable Care Act has now made a change that will make it much easier for victims of domestic violence to be able to obtain health insurance subsidies without having to file their taxes jointly.

This new fix has been put into place – as has an extension in their enrollment period.

The problem that caused the requirement for this change in the law surrounding subsidies for health insurance was that in order for married people to qualify for them, they previously had to file their taxes jointly with their spouses. In the case of victims of domestic violence who have separated from their spouses, it may not be safe for them to contact that person in order to file a joint return. At the same time, many also fear retribution should they attempt to file for divorce. While this had previously stopped them from being able to obtain subsidies for coverage – and may have made purchasing a plan on their own cost prohibitive – this health care reform has now been altered.

Advocates had been pushing for this health insurance regulation alteration for over a year.

Previously, victims of domestic violence can file as the head of their households and can become eligible for the insurance tax credits once more. That said, the designation required that taxpayer to have been responsible for the payments for at least half of their home costs for that year and they must have had at least one child living with them. An individual who had left the abusive relationship less than a year ago, or someone who did not have children would not be able to qualify.

The change in the tax law has now made it possible for married taxpayers who have been victims of domestic abuse to be able to qualify for tax credits even if they are filing their taxes separately while being married. Moreover, those individuals now have until May 31 – two more months – to enroll in their own health insurance plan on the federal exchange.

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