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Are mother and father liable for grownup kids’s medical money owed? Ought to folks squeeze in appointments and costly procedures earlier than yr’s finish due to modifications that may include the GOP tax invoice? Ought to shoppers pay a dealer to assist them enroll in a plan? I reply these questions from readers this week.

Q: My 25-year-old brother died in April, and now hospitals are calling my mother and father to cowl his payments. He was lined below my mother and father’ employer-sponsored plan, however are they responsible for his medical debt?

No, mother and father aren’t typically liable for an grownup little one’s medical money owed, mentioned Richard Gundling, senior vice chairman on the Healthcare Monetary Administration Affiliation, a corporation for finance professionals in well being care.

“Usually, if you happen to’re 18 or older, you’re thought-about the accountable get together, even if you happen to’re insured below your mother and father’ coverage,” Gundling mentioned.

Below the Inexpensive Care Act, mother and father can maintain their kids as much as age 26 on their insurance coverage coverage, even when the grownup children are financially impartial and reside on their very own.

When younger folks flip 18, they will resolve whether or not to obtain medical care or test themselves right into a hospital. As soon as there they sometimes would signal their very own paperwork that claims they consent to medical care and conform to pay any quantities that their insurer doesn’t cowl.

Typically, mother and father can be liable for their grownup little one’s money owed provided that that they had signed an settlement with a medical supplier to cowl them.

The scenario can be totally different if it had been a minor little one. Mother and father are typically liable for these payments, Gundling mentioned.

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Q: As a 78-year-old individual with a number of sclerosis, I’ve many out-of-pocket medical bills that I deduct from my revenue taxes. I heard that the brand new tax invoice would remove this deduction. I’m dealing with roughly $9,000 in dental bills, and I deliberate to delay this dental work till early 2018. However now I ponder if I ought to have it executed earlier than yr’s finish. What’s the timing of this alteration?

You are in a troublesome spot. Below present regulation, you’ll be able to deduct out of your revenue tax the quantity of your medical bills that exceeds 10 % of your adjusted gross revenue. The massive tax invoice handed by the Home earlier this month eradicated that deduction, efficient in 2018. Nonetheless, the Senate Finance Committee’s invoice, which is headed to the complete Senate, didn’t change the present deduction.

If the invoice passes the Senate, legislators from each homes should hammer out a model that they suppose can go Congress. All of this takes time. It seemingly can be mid- to late December earlier than a last invoice takes form, mentioned Timothy Jost, an emeritus professor of regulation at Washington and Lee College in Virginia who’s an knowledgeable on well being regulation.

There’s no strategy to predict if the availability eliminating the deduction will survive that course of.

This Kaiser Well being Information story may be republished without spending a dime (particulars).

“The medical expense deduction repeal is fairly controversial, and I’d not be shocked if it doesn’t find yourself within the last invoice,” Jost mentioned.

However that doesn’t show you how to resolve what to do as we speak. One choice is to schedule your dental work to be executed late in December. Then you can also make a call over the subsequent month about whether or not to maintain these appointments primarily based on what, if something, occurs in Congress.

Q: I bought an electronic mail from an insurance coverage dealer that claims they’ll assist me join Obamacare, however they’ll cost a $200 price. Why would I pay that? Aren’t there locations I can go to get free assist signing up?

Federal funding for well being care navigators who present free Obamacare enrollment assist has been slashed in lots of areas. However these helpers are nonetheless out there in each state, say consultants. At healthcare.gov, click on on “discover native assist” to seek out an assister or navigator in your space. Neighborhood well being facilities are an alternative choice, mentioned Karen Pollitz, a senior fellow on the Kaiser Household Basis (KFF). (Kaiser Well being Information is an editorially impartial program of the muse.)

Navigators could also be your only option if you happen to qualify for subsidies on {the marketplace} or have to enroll in Medicaid, or in case your scenario is difficult due to your immigration standing or a language barrier, for instance.

In the event you don’t qualify for premium tax credit which might be out there to folks with incomes as much as 400 % of the federal poverty stage (about $48,000 for one individual), you might wish to work with a dealer to seek for insurance policies not bought on {the marketplace}, mentioned Sabrina Corlette, a analysis professor at Georgetown College’s Middle on Well being Insurance coverage Reforms.

You don’t essentially should pay a price for that, although.

As insurers have continued to cut back the commissions they pay brokers for promoting Obamacare merchandise, some say it seems extra brokers are charging client charges. When KFF surveyed brokers in 2016, 49 % mentioned that at the least some insurers had stopped paying gross sales commissions on all market insurance policies.

In the event you take into account working with a dealer who costs a price, “your No. 1 query to ask is, ‘Is that this it, or do you additionally get a fee?’” Corlette mentioned.

Please go to khn.org/columnists to ship feedback or concepts for future matters for the Insuring Your Well being column.

Kaiser Well being Information (KHN) is a nationwide well being coverage information service. It’s an editorially impartial program of the Henry J. Kaiser Household Basis.