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Old 26-01-2016, 08:25   #1
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US Health Insurance Requirements

My daughter goes to school in Canada. She is a dual citizen. In the process of researching whether there would be a penalty for her if we cancelled her US coverage and got her Canadian health insurance I came across Publication 54.

I have heard people say that if you are out of the US for more then 330 days a year you are exempt. The law is actually more nuanced then that. Most importantly -- time in international waters does not count as part of the 330 days.

Here is the quote from the publication:

You leave Norway by ship at 10:00 p.m. on July 6 and arrive in Portugal at 6:00 a.m. on July 8. Since your travel is not within a foreign country or countries and the trip takes more than 24 hours, you lose as full days July 6, 7, and 8. If you remain in Portugal, your next full day in a foreign country is July 9.

In United States while in transit. If you are in transit between two points outside the United States and are physically present in the United States for less than 24 hours, you are not treated as present in the United States during the transit. You are treated as traveling over areas not within any foreign country.


As a circumnavigator if you had a few passages in the course of a year you might not qualify for this exemption.

Opinion?
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Old 26-01-2016, 08:52   #2
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Re: US Health Insurance Requirements

My opinion is you will need a lawyer. Since US healthcare is now run by the IRS, you are guilty until proven innocent.

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Old 31-01-2016, 14:23   #3
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Re: US Health Insurance Requirements

To be practical, who's counting? If you are transiting 3 days out of the 330, do you really think you're being tracked and counted by satellite? Unless there might be some other reason to look into it...

On the other hand, a trans-pacific voyage might be more obvious.
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Old 31-01-2016, 18:16   #4
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Re: US Health Insurance Requirements

If you enter and leave the US "legally" then yes the government keeps accurate track of your presence and absence.

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Old 31-01-2016, 18:29   #5
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Re: US Health Insurance Requirements

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie View Post

Here is the quote from the publication:

[I]You leave Norway by ship at 10:00 p.m. on July 6 and arrive in Portugal at 6:00 a.m. on July 8. Since your travel is not within a foreign country or countries and the trip takes more than 24 hours, you lose as full days July 6, 7, and 8. If you remain in Portugal, your next full day in a foreign country is July 9.


Opinion?
Only true if you are on an American flagged vessel, as you are then considered on American 'territory' and therefore under American jurisdiction, until you pass into the jurisdiction of another Country (signified by the raising of the host Country courtesy flag in acknowledgement). I'd bet very strongly that no Government would want to go to Court in defiance of this age old principle. It's why things that are legal in your home Country can legally stay on the boat while in another Country where they are illegal (usually stored in a bonded container capable of being sealed, or placed into bondage ashore until you depart the Country).

If you want to avoid it, I'd suggest reflagging (but verify first) to the jurisdiction of another Country.

It's how I see it anyway.

'Airport' territory is considered as not entering the Country where the airport is.

There was an amusing film about somebody trapped in an airport for a considerable period, which sort of covered this situation without going into detail (including the export of the same substances permitted to export for animal treatment, but prohibited from export for humans). It was quite good.

PS. As I am going to be cruising under a Red Ensign, this unavoidable principle is likely to serve me rather well. It's why I am not annoyed at the prospect of paying VAT on my boat in the UK, and will get in the SSR to be able to fly the Red Ensign, asap. As a British citizen under a Red Ensign, it actually rocks, as it counts for my number of days 'resident' per year.
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Old 31-01-2016, 19:01   #6
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Re: US Health Insurance Requirements

Of course it should be obvious, if there are advantages, that a careful tally is kept each year, of the number of days spent flying a courtesy flag . . .

So enter them into your log book.
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Old 31-01-2016, 20:30   #7
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Re: US Health Insurance Requirements

When I worked in Saudi Arabia, I had to be sure that I was in the USA no more than 35 days or I would not get a foreign tax credit. I was extremely careful about how many days I spent in the USA, and I would always make sure to not use up all of my days, because I might need to make an emergency trip to the USA, and if I exceeded the 35 days, I was toast. Expensive mistake.
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Old 31-01-2016, 20:43   #8
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Re: US Health Insurance Requirements

Might want to look at this the other way around. If she switched to Canadian health care, would there be a penalty for her being out of that country x number of days? We have a lot of Canadians wintering over in the south (of the USA), and I recall one writing something in a newspaper about the virtues/drawback of the Canadian health care system, saying that they could not stay in the states any longer than 182 days annually, or they would lose the coverage.

Don't know if this is true, but I'm sure some of our Canadian contributors do.
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Old 31-01-2016, 21:55   #9
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Re: US Health Insurance Requirements

How have I never heard that we had "US healthcare" or "US insurance" ?


Your daughter may be covered under Medicare, Medicaid, an "ObamaCare" policy, or other privately issued insurance policy, and they'll all have different terms. How she is covered and where all depend on what kind of insurance she has, and you haven't said.


On the other hand, as a dual national, she might qualify for Canadian national health--but then she has to reside in Canada for more than 6 months of the year. And if she's going to college there, she might well be able to qualify for that.
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Old 31-01-2016, 22:23   #10
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Re: US Health Insurance Requirements

https://www.irs.gov/Affordable-Care-...lity-Provision

See Question 12. If she is a bona fide resident of Canada (whether or not continuously present in Canada) then she is exempt.
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