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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Are You an American Living Abroad?

March 23, 2010, 11:19 am

What the Health Care Overhaul Means for Americans Abroad

On Monday, Times reporters answered reader questions about how the health care overhaul will affect consumers. But one reader question that remained unanswered was how the legislation will affect Americans abroad. Here’s the answer.
According to Tom Rose, chairman of the Association of Americans Resident Overseas‘ Committee on Social Security and Medicare, the legislation doesn’t have any effect on Americans abroad, except that it exempts them from the penalty for not subscribing to health insurance in the United States. “That is only logical as most Americans abroad have coverage in their country of residence,” Mr. Rose said.
Similarly, the Web site of the American Citizens Abroad organization pointed out that, as of January, neither the House nor Senate bill would tax Americans abroad for not having insurance in the United States, and both “specifically exclude overseas Americans from proposed mandatory U.S. health insurance coverage.”
According to the organization, an earlier version of the Senate health plan would have taxed Americans abroad.
But the group noted on its site that provisions for financing  the legislation were “likely to affect Americans overseas, whether they be additional taxes on high incomes or increased deductions for Medicare and Social Security (which would affect American-owned businesses abroad).”
How do you think the legislation will affect Americans living abroad? If you’re an expat, how do you think the legislation may affect you?

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