Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water. We went through the discussions of Proof of Life and I think everyone has made their own decisions about how they were going to handle the situation.
Now it is time to toss in another wrinkle. I have been communicating with Nancy Levin who writes Finding Our Paradise in Ecuador. She was interested in my take on the effects of Obamacare on expats in Panama.
I told her I had not researched it much, since I thought, based on the Embassy meeting last March, I would not be one they will look at for not carrying the mandatory healthcare.
However, there may be more food for thought for those that have decided to ignore the Proof of Life problem by utilizing addresses in the US (friends or relatives) and not registering with the SSA as living outside the US.
In Nancy’s current article, Obamacare (Affordable Care Act) and the Expat, she begins a new discussion, which may be of interest to CC readers. All US expats are facing the same situation and have the same questions. Basically we don’t want to be dinged by a new program that we will get no benefit from.
Comments, she has received, are also worth reading. It boils down to this. January 1, 2014 Obamacare goes into effect. At that time being a legal resident and having notified the SSA of foreign residence will remove you from the potential penalty tax for not carrying the mandatory insurance.
One site related to the issue is located HERE.
I carry health insurance in Panama and I have notified the SSA of my Panama address and at the same time informed them that I have lived here since 2003. Having volunteered for the U.S. Embassy for several years also is proof that I am a permanent resident here. With all of that, I feel like I am covered.
If you are a US citizen that is a permanent resident outside the US, then it may be time for you to research Obamacare and see how it affects you and if you have planned correctly.