Recent changes to the federal tax law may have a specific new effect on New Yorkers who apply for coverage through the state’s health insurance marketplace, New York State of Health (NYSOH).
A specific deduction for qualified tuition and related expenses will no longer be allowed in 2018. This means that new and renewing applicants will no longer be able to lower their countable income by the amount they qualified for under this deduction when they sign up for health coverage on NYSOH. In previous tax years, ending with 2017, taxpayers could lower their taxable income by up to $4000. This could affect the eligibility of some New Yorkers for programs that help pay for health insurance. These programs include subsidies for Qualified Health Plans, Medicaid, Child Health Plus, and the Essential Plan.
The deduction allowed up to $4000 in qualified expenses, which meant that New Yorkers who qualified in the past could reduce their income by this amount, potentially making them eligible for a more generous health insurance program. Although the qualified tuition and related expenses deduction actually expired at the end of 2016, On February 9, 2018, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 extended this deduction retroactively to the end of 201. However, the deduction is no longer available as of January 1, 2018.
If you need tax advice on this subject, you can use the IRS resources on qualified education expenses, here and here. Free tax assistance is available to qualified taxpayers through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. There is more information on the program here.
For free help with a New York State of Health application for health insurance, you contact the Community Service Society Navigator Network, either by calling 1 888 614 5400 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.