Don’t Have Health Insurance? The IRS Might Contact You

Photo by Sean Locke Photography / Shutterstock.com

Uncle Sam wants you — a little too much, according to a few congressmen.

Three Republican leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to the Internal Revenue Service this week questioning the possibility that the federal government might use taxpayer information as part of a marketing effort for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare).

The letter is in response to a fact sheet published by a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in June. Titled “Strengthening the Marketplace by Covering Young Adults,” the fact sheet announces plans to “step up [Obamacare] Marketplace outreach, especially to young adults.”

One strategy involves targeting uninsured people who chose to pay the fee rather than purchase health insurance as required under the 2010 health care law.

The fact sheet says the Department of Health “will partner with IRS to conduct outreach to families that paid the fee or claimed an exemption for 2015. This will help us reach a group of individuals who were recently identified as uninsured.”

But three powerful members of the House are objecting to the plan, and have sent a letter to the IRS to express their concerns. The three congressmen who signed the letter are:

  • Kevin McCarthy (California), majority leader of the House
  • Steve Scalise (Louisiana), majority whip of the House
  • Kevin Brady (Texas), chairman of the House’s Committee on Ways and Means

The trio write in their letter to the IRS that such outreach “raises legal and privacy concerns,” stating that tax returns and tax return information are protected by law.

The letter continues:

“We do not believe it to be an appropriate tax administration activity, nor a good use of scarce taxpayer resources, to use protected return data to direct taxpayers on their personal coverage decisions.”

Their letter concludes with a request for details about the IRS’ role in the Obamacare marketing effort, to be provided by Oct. 4.

Another person who has publicly questioned the effort is Grace-Marie Turner, president of the Galen Institute, a nonprofit focused on patient-centered health reform.

Turner wrote in Forbes this week:

“Health insurers have made it very clear to the White House that they need more healthy young people to enroll in the exchanges to stabilize the pools, which are too old and sick. People who paid the penalty are a ripe target. …

Will getting a dreaded letter from the IRS work with millennials? Or will it further anger them about the reach of ‘big brother’ into their lives and decisions?”

What do you think about the IRS plan to promote getting health insurance under Obamacare? Sound off below or on Facebook.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
5 Monthly Bills You Can Easily Negotiate Down
5 Monthly Bills You Can Easily Negotiate Down

Here’s how to bring down recurring expenses and save hundreds — or even thousands — of dollars each year.

10 Tools You Need for Financial Stability
10 Tools You Need for Financial Stability

Have these tools and accounts in place so you can weather whatever comes your way.

3 Good Things About Recessions
3 Good Things About Recessions

We don’t wish difficulty on anyone, but there can be an upside to a down cycle.

8 Things You Should Rent Instead of Buying
8 Things You Should Rent Instead of Buying

You may think you’re looking at a must-have purchase. But do the numbers and think twice.

6 Reasons I Will Never Trust Suze Orman
6 Reasons I Will Never Trust Suze Orman

Beware: The self-proclaimed personal finance expert has a track record that suggests more sizzle than steak.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?
Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?

Can an adult daughter tap into her late mother’s benefit?

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia
This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia

Nearly half of U.S. residents may face this threat.

Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds
Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds

Resolve to be clutter-free in 2021 with these secondhand purchases.

This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers
This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers

For the second straight year, a growing number of Americans believe they’ve fallen prey to this scam.

11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It
11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It

Seriously? Fibbing about the weather is a crime? This and other little-known legal traps await the unwary.

11 Generic Products You Should Buy at Costco
11 Generic Products You Should Buy at Costco

Not all generics are worthwhile, but these are among the best from Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand.

These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy
These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy

These vehicles boast reliability, safety and long-lasting value.

6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have
6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have

Few retirees have all of these documents that are crucial to their golden years — especially during a pandemic.

13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free
13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free

There are many ways to get cheap or free services and goods after reaching a certain age.

8 Tips for Retiring Comfortably on Social Security Alone
8 Tips for Retiring Comfortably on Social Security Alone

It’s never too early to start learning how to live well while living on less.

Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore
Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore

Starting this month, your ISP no longer can bill you for this fee.

15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021
15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021

Follow these tips to save, so you’ll have money for things that really matter.

9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry
9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry

Keep more of future paychecks by eliminating these budget-busting unnecessary expenses.

The 4 Best Things to Buy in January — and 4 to Avoid
The 4 Best Things to Buy in January — and 4 to Avoid

As a new year dawns, deals abound for some types of products. In other cases, it pays to wait.

11 Huge Retirement Costs That Are Often Overlooked
11 Huge Retirement Costs That Are Often Overlooked

Does your retirement budget account for all of these costs?

7 Bank Accounts With Extra Perks for Seniors
7 Bank Accounts With Extra Perks for Seniors

These accounts offer exclusive discounts and other perks — including interest — to older customers.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.