Ten months left on the Obamacare countdown (seven to enroll)

For the most part, Americans must be covered under a health insurance policy offering “minimum essential benefits” on January 1, 2014.

Open enrollment on the federal healthcare exchange is slated to begin October 1, 2013. Since many states did not set up a Health Insurance Exchange, the federal one will be the one that is used.

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3 comments

  1. Diane · March 1, 2013

    Interesting to note. Yesterday I read that the FPL will be used to determine premium costs, however the subsidies are actually advanced “loans” per se and some of these “loans” may actually have to be paid back. Let me explain. This yr. when people sign up in Oct. they will be using the MAGI from their tax return from income received in 2012 however they are applying for a subsidy for year 2014. The income from this individual in the year 2014 won’t be actually known until he files his taxes in 2015. The govt. would be giving him a subsidy based on the income reported from 2 years prior if he falls in a FPL range. lets say this person’s income stays steady until 2014 & then gets a handsome raise along with a promotion in 2014 raising his FPL level from the 200% range to the 300% range. Since he actually received a subsidy in 2014 (based on his 2012 return) he actually received too large a subsidy from the govt. not actually his fault because he had no way of knowing his income would increase and nothing illegal as he followed the rules by using a previous return’s MAGI from 2012. However, since the govt. gave him the subsidy for 2014 and his income from the 2014 tax return shows he received too much he now has to pay it back. There will be 3 caps for paybacks and they all into the $600 /$1500/2700 ranges depending on where he fell in the FPL charts. The paybacks will be determined when he fills out a reconciliation form with his tax return for the year 2014.

    One more surprise! Let’s say that promo took him out of the FPL levels all together and it put him into the category of being over the 400%……….suprise, surprise the three category payback levels stated above don’t apply to him, he has to pay back the entire subsidy given to him two yr. prior.

    Now, let’s be fair here. What if instead of the promotion he was demoted and fell into a lower FPL range. Well, the govt. in their infinite wisdom will not reimburse him the entire amt. that should have been given to him for the subsidy but a mere pittance of a couple of hundred dollars. Heads, the govt. wins……….tails the guy loses.

    Along with all else I’ve read there is one more intersting fact regarding Medicaid. Anyone 55 or over who falls below the lowest FPL levels falls into medicaid as you all well know by now. However, were people aware of the fact that anyone over 55 in this situation will also be then tied to Estate Recovery by the govt.? Yup, it’s a fact. If someone receives “free” insurance through Medicaid then once that person passes away the govt. will be first in line before heirs to get their little hands on the house, the car, bank accts. etc. etc. to recoup the “free” money given to insurance companies for this individual.

    There is so much in this new law that people aren’t aware of and it’s going to be an eye opener for them if they don’t do some research to possibly prepare themselves for it.

    • hoofin · March 2, 2013

      Yes it’s funny in a way. First, the Republicans bemoaned the “free stuff” being “given away” in “Obamacare”. Now, they’re pointing to the clawbacks (the first one of which I’ve written about before) to say, “oh no! You’re being made to pay for the things we’d said you’re being ‘given’!”)

      • hoofin · March 2, 2013

        On your second point, the one about an asset-rich, over 55 year-old, who, because of income, qualifies to be on Medicaid: you didn’t point out that one alternative is simply to pay full-price for a policy, which, under the Affordable Care Act, is capped at 3x the cost of a policy for a 21-year-old. An asset-poor individual should not be worrying about Medicaid Estate Recovery.

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