My wife and I are both U.S. citizens and plan on quitting our jobs and taking a year long trip around the world starting in September. That means we'd be without ACA health insurance for 4 month in 2016.

According to the IRS (https://www.irs.gov/affordable-care-act/individuals-and-families/questions-and-answers-on-the-individual-shared-responsibility-provision) if you travel abroad for more than 330 days it should be fine:

However, U.S. citizens who are physically present in a foreign country or countries for at least 330 full days during any period of 12-consecutive months are exempt from the individual shared responsibility payment for any month in the tax year that is included in that 12-month period.

Though when I have to file taxes for 2016 we'll be in the middle of those 330 days. Does anybody know how that'll work? Will I have to pay the penalty for 2016? Will I get that back in 2017 or just have to eat it? Is there some way of saying that we're currently abroad and plan on staying for >330 days?


I do not know how this works for ACA, but I do know how it works for the earned income exemption, and I am going to guess the rule is the same. The IRS recommended getting an extension to file, paying what you think you owe (if any) with that form, due April 15. There is now a special Form 2350 for exactly this case, and you choose an extension date that works for the 330-day rule.

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  • That'd work. Extend until October so we'll be over 330 by then. We're due for a refund anyways I think. – GapYear Jun 30 '16 at 18:19

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