Are Americans Overseas Subject To The Health Insurance Requirements Of Obamacare?

“Kathleen, really loved your recent ‘Would You Be Happier Living Overseas? There’s Only One Way To Find Out.

“Nice, inspiring piece. Well done.”

–Nelson R., United States


“Kathleen, my question is how the Obamacare laws would pertain to American citizens who choose to live abroad? It is quickly beginning to appear that the implementation of this law, by itself, provides more impetus than all other factors combined to seriously consider living permanently in another country.”

–Tim H., United States

Anyone who would qualify for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE) is exempt from the Obamacare health insurance requirement.

It doesn’t matter if you actually have earned income or use the FEIE. It’s not about working or having a job. It’s simply that the powers that be have decided to use the same qualification thresholds that are applied for determining eligibility for the FEIE to determine exemption from Obamacare insurance requirements among Americans overseas.

Details for how you qualify for the FEIE are here.

Must Expats Pay Into ObamaCare?

“Kathleen, are U.S. expats required to participate in (pay into) ObamaCare while out of the United States where they can’t use ObamaCare?”


As long as you’re an official expat—that is, as long as you meet the requirements for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE)—no.

If you qualify for the FEIE, either through the “days test” or the bona-fide residence test, you are considered to have health coverage under ObamaCare.

To clarify, you don’t have to have earned income. You only need to meet the requirements for the income exclusion.

Continue reading: Benefits Of Retiring Overseas

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