The American Rescue Plan has given an unprecedented amount of aid in various forms including the stimulus check of up to $1,400, and the Child Tax Credit, and an extra $300 per week as unemployment insurance among others. But many other schemes could both save and earn you money thanks to new rules, like the medical insurance schemes.
The average health insurance cost is close to $500 every month. The additional expenses considerably add to the amount. But the stimulus bill has set up new ways for you to lower your insurance costs.
COBRA Insurance Premiums Free through September Even For Laid-Off
The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act allows you to buy coverage through your ex-employer. But you then had to pay for it. But now the government will pick up the tab for the entire premium starting April to the end of September. This covers your family too.
But this scheme isn’t applicable if you left your previous job on your own, or also if you are covered under a new similar insurance scheme. You will get a letter confirming your coverage. If not, be sure to call up your employee to confirm that you are covered under the scheme.
Rejig You Insurance Plans To Bring Down Costs
The bill allows you short-term subsidies to purchase health insurance from healthcare.gov. Everyone is eligible for discounts if they buy insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
The terms and scope have been expanded under the Act. So you will receive more if you are already under the Act. And if you had been previously outside the scope because of your earnings you still get in.
You can get a free plan if your income is below $19,000. And you get your premium amount lowered up to $1,000 if your income is around $51,000. The AGI is used to calculate your eligibility.
The changes are applicable from January 1 of this year. So if you’re already on any medical plan under the Act, you will get a refund after filing your tax returns in 2022. The subsidies are for 2 years.
You can also deduct expenses paid for dental and medical care for your family. Now you are allowed to deduct just the amount of your total expenses that are more than 7.5% of the AGI, including hospital admission and doctor’s fees. It was 10% before.
Getting More From Your FSA
Health care FSA now allows you to make contributions that are tax-free up to an amount of $2,750. So you can add more without getting taxed.
Open Enrolment Extended
Instead of the six weeks normally allowed to enroll for health insurance, you can now sign up for your health insurance through mid-August.
The scheme has also been allowed under state plans.
Do You Qualify For A Plus-Up Payment In Addition To Your Stimulus Check?
Millions are getting additional payments to compensate for any errors or omissions in their original stimulus check. You also get catch-up money if you have filed your returns this year which qualifies you for more than you have received in your stimulus check.
Other grounds for received the plus-up payment could be the birth of a child in 2020 or the addition of other dependents.
Keeping Track Of Your Plus Up Payment
You could lose out on a considerable amount if you do not keep close track of how much you could get as part of the plan.
The original letter sent by the IRS along with your stimulus check is the basis for your calculation. The plus-up payment covers the amount that you missed from your third stimulus check. But it doesn’t cover the previous two. So you may need to separately apply if you have missed out on any payment from the previous two stimulus payments.
Claim The Balance Amount
The confirmation letter sent by the IRS along with your stimulus check should help you out. The IRS will announce a window to allow such a claim before the December 31 deadline for sending out the stimulus payments. You still have until you file your returns next year if you miss this window.
Using The IRS Tracker
Always keep track of your stimulus payment. The My Payment tool should give you most of the information you need. The details are updated at the end of each day.
If you are set to receive your stimulus check through the US postal service, you can use their free tool to keep track of your mail.
Reasons You Are Still Waiting For Your Stimulus Check
There could be several reasons why might have missed out on your stimulus check. Calculation errors are the most common ones. You might either have to file for an adjustment or wait for the plus-up payment to arrive.
Social beneficiaries such as SSI and SSDI, veterans, and retired railroad workers have started receiving their checks only in April. So if you are among these groups, you can expect a delay.
A postal service hold-up could delay your check. If you normally get your payment by mail, keep track through the US postal service tool.
If you have not given the full information to the IRS you will not receive the full amount. This includes information about your dependent or the birth of a new baby in 2020. Filing your tax returns will help you as you can include all such bits of information.
Your payment could also have been returned if your account is closed or was a temporary one.
Moving house without informing the IRS and the US postal service is another reason for you not getting your stimulus check. Update such information with both.
Live In The Golden State? You Could Get $600 More
California has declared an additional $7.6 billion relief package for the pandemic and is for low earners. This amount is in addition to the stimulus check.
You qualify for $Golden State payment if you are a resident of the state and have filed your tax returns for 2020. You also must qualify for the earned income tax credit of the state, or CalEITC.
If you are not a CalEITC recipient, you could still qualify if you file with an ITIN, and your gross income was $75,000 or less.
When Will You Get Your California Stimulus Check?
The Franchise Tax Board has said that the payments are being sent twice a month. You will receive your California stimulus payment after April 15 if you have filed your state return between January 1 to March 1. If you have filed later, it could take between 45 to 60 days depending on the mode of payment. You could take the help of the wait-time site put up by the state of California to check the status.
You will receive a paper check if you have not set up a direct deposit while filing your tax returns. Be sure to file your return by October 15, the extended deadline set by the state. The normal deadline is on April 15.
Will This $600 Affect Your $1,400 Stimulus Check?
The $600 California payment is separate from the stimulus payment given out through the IRS. It will not affect the amount you get as a stimulus payment from the federal government.