Sunday, November 3, 2013

Affordable Care Less Affordable Under the Affordable Care Act

I just did some research and found that "affordable care" will actually cost me twice as much under ObamaCare. is that "affordable"? In addition, not only is the cheapest plan available to me in 2014 more than double what I could have in 2013, I'll also have far fewer choices - from the current 27 down to only six! These screenshots from eHealth comparing my 2013 and 2014 choices tell the story better than I can.

2013 - 27 plans starting at $226/mo

2014 - 6 plans starting at $456/mo

But won't I get a tax credit to help pay for my health insurance? At this exact point in time, NO. Why? Because I live in a Medicaid-expansion state and my income is below 138% of the federal poverty level, so I DON'T HAVE A CHOICE - in my current situation, if I want to avoid Medicaid, I can either buy health insurance privately or pay the penalty for being uninsured.

Now let's do the math...

The lowest-priced plan available for me in 2014 is $456/month, which comes to $5472 per year, which is a hefty chunk of change for a couple with an income of less than $20,000. If I refuse to play and choose to pay instead, my penalty for 2014 will be about $200. Hmm. Nearly $5,500 or $200 - sure doesn't take a financial genius to figure this one out!

Let me be clear - I am not currently eligible for premium assistance because I qualify for Medicaid. Well, that's great! It's free health care, right? NOT! I will not be forced onto Medicaid for one very good reason that you can read about in a previous post.

So...what to do? Well, fortunately I don't have to decide today. In fact, this first year only, I have until the end of March to figure it out. And I do have a few ideas, which I'll share as they unfold.

Have you figured out how YOU will fare under ObamaCare?

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