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Please let people know about this easy, on-line tool to answer all the Obamacare questions.

Healthcare.gov

It's not rocket science.

I even used LIVE CHAT twice this morning to get a couple of State-specific questions answered.  It was quick and easy.  Great service.

To get to live chat, to to www.healthcare.gov and click on

How do I get help enrolling in the Marketplace?  
When the screen opens, look for the LIVE CHAT box in the lower right hand corner pictured here:

Healthcare.gov Live Chat

LET PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT THIS HELPFUL ONLINE SERVICE so they can:

Get an idea of what their premiums will be.

If and what they will qualify for premium subsidies and out-of-pocket caps.

Also, let people know that Obamacare also helps cap the out-of-pocket expenses for those families earning under $55,000.

A Kaiser premium calculator is available.  Look for this link at www.healthcare.gov

Kaiser Premium calculator

After using the Kaiser calculator, I found that my daughter's family out-of-pocket expense will be capped at $4,500.  Their premium, after the subsidy, will be approximately $172 as month, very affordable.  

Also, AND THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT TO NOTE:

Because her family income is under $55,000 for her family of five, even though they will sign up under the Silver Plan, her family will receive the co-insurance beneft of 87% which is even better than the GOLD Plan.  That's right.  Sign up for the Silver Plan and get either the same or sometimes better coverage than the GOLD/Platinum plans.

Here's the information that was provided, after filling out the details in the Kaiser calculator:

Out-of-pocket Obamacare

I also found out how the subsidies to insurers will be paid.  When you sign up for Obamacare, you get to choose how much will be deducted from your tax liability.

It's called Advanced Premium Tax Credit  Here's what it says:

The Affordable Care Act provides a new tax credit to help you afford health coverage purchased through the Marketplace. Advance payments of the tax credit can be used right away to lower your monthly premium costs. If you qualify, you may choose how much advance credit payments to apply to your premiums each month, up to a maximum amount. If the amount of advance credit payments you get for the year is less than the tax credit you're due, you'll get the difference as a refundable credit when you file your federal income tax return. If your advance payments for the year are more than the amount of your credit, you must repay the excess advance payments with your tax return. Also called premium tax credit.
It's not rocket science.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Very useful, thanks (18+ / 0-)

    Habit of eating have been found increased in people, they just need a sitting place where they can finish their hunger. -- spammer pauldavis 8/21/13

    by Senor Unoball on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 09:36:27 AM PDT

    •  Republicans want this site censored (7+ / 0-)

      They fear Americans gettin information straight from the government without having to pass through Rupert Murdoch's large intestine first.

      "Work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed." -- Vaclav Havel

      by greendem on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 12:22:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If the GOP was smart (lol) they'd fix the problems (5+ / 0-)

        the ACA has and take the credit - and yes there are some problems.  We're caught in a loophole because my employer provides insurance and my premium is below the 9.5% threshold but adding my husband upped my premium to 30% of my income.  But that's fixable.  If the GOP was smart, they'd propose legislation to fix these problems.  Then they could brag in 2014  "We Fixed the ACA So Now It Works."   Heck, they'd probably change the name to RepubliCare.  

        •  Cruzicare? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Odysseus

          Your husband can to to the exchange for lower premium.  Your employer does not have to insure your hubby.

          It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

          by War on Error on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 01:22:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's so confusing. MAKE THE CALL! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            War on Error

            I'd been to the website but looked it up under myself where it appeared we couldn't qualify.  But after reading your answer, I made the phone call and the lady told me to search by him, not me, and I could get the answers.  So anybody reading this, if you have questions CALL!!!

            •  Or use the LIVE CHAT (0+ / 0-)

              It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

              by War on Error on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 02:49:08 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  The Kaiser site isn't clear about this. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              War on Error

              It's good for somethings but bad for other things  It doesn't explain that spouses and families don't have to use the employer insurance.  It just shut me down when I chose the option stating I had access to it.  So definitely go to the government web site and talk to somebody any way you can.  I'm so relieved my husband can still use the marketplace.  

            •  I contacted the healthcare.gov call center once, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              War on Error

              and talked to a very courteous young man.  I have no complaint whatsoever about his attitude or phone manners.

              The thing that concerned me was that his answers (and he referenced checking a database for answers) were rather broad, and of course "scripted."

              I asked him about "eligibility" to "shop" in the Health Exchange if one's employee offers one group health insurance.  His answer did not INCLUDE the fact that you forfeit your subsidy [if you quality in the first place], UNLESS your employer's group health policy/premium meets one of the two criteria which I mentioned above.  (IOW, he answered with an unqualified "yes," which could be detrimental, since there would be a good chance that without a subsidy, one would pay much higher premiums.)

              The chat is fairly convenient, but often the answers are very broad, and since they are "canned answers" [scripted] they often contain quite a bit of "extraneous" information (that may not directly pertain to one's question).

              But, at least you have a "record" of what the call center reps told you (for what good it will do, LOL!)

              As far as I can tell--none of the navigators, advisors, counselors, etc., have "fiduciary" responsibilities.

              And in the end--it is "on each individual" to obtain and act on the correct information.  So, IMHO, I'd check with the ACA "reps" by phone or chat, but I would do my own independent checking, just to be sure.

              Because from what I've read, once you enroll, no changes can be made--aside from reasons such as death, divorce, etc.--unless or until the next open enrollment period (much like employer-based group insurance).

              At the least, it seems that it would be wise to check, and even double-check, any questions that one might have, before actually enrolling in the ACA.  

              Actually, this is no different from our approach to our Group Health Insurance Plan selection.

              As the old expression goes:  "Haste makes waste."

              Mollie

              "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


              hiddennplainsight

              by musiccitymollie on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 05:50:48 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  If one's "employer" offers them insurance, one (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            War on Error

            cannot qualify for a "subsidy" in any Health Exchanges--unless one's employer's group health insurance premium exceeds 9.5% of one's income, or unless one's employer's policy does NOT cover 60% of the actuarial cost of one's policy--THEN the employee can qualify for subsidies in the Health Exchange--but his dependent children and spouse DON'T QUALIFY for subsidies.

            This is a HUGE flaw in the ACA, and one reason that we need to advocate for Enhanced Medicare-For-All!

            ;-)

            Mollie

            "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


            hiddennplainsight

            by musiccitymollie on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 05:07:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Agree would like to see fixed--but no, millions of (0+ / 0-)

          angry Dem and Repub group health plan "dependent spouses and children," who go uninsured due to unaffordable premiums, only serve to help Republicans win seats in 2014.

          So, why on earth would they vote to fix this?  [Dems wrote the bill--they had every chance to do it correctly.]

          Now, Dems "own the ACA"--good and bad.  And I don't think the old standyby--"unintended consequences"--will fly this time.

          How many times are the American people expected to buy this as an excuse for bad policy?

          If Dems suffer a "bloodbath" in 2014--maybe, just maybe--they'll finally wake up and push for "Enhanced Medicare-For-All."

          Otherwise, with the ACA (as it is presently constituted), Dems will likely spend many years "in the wilderness," as the say.  

          As I see it, Dems don't really have much choice but to replace the ACA with MFA.  (Unfortunately, the ACA is what you get when you have a former WellPoint VP of Public Policy write a health care law.)

          Hopefully, Dems have learned a lesson from this (soon-to-be) fiasco.  ;-)

          Mollie

          "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


          hiddennplainsight

          by musiccitymollie on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 04:35:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I disagree. Its cut and dry. (0+ / 0-)

            Those EMPLOYEES, whose employers offer health insurance THAT MEETS THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE ACA, will be required to remain on their Employer Insurance plan.  You can THANK THE GOP FOR THIS!!  The GOP pushed and pushed to make sure that "you can keep the insurance you have"

            So, if employees don't like it they CAN BLAME THEIR EMPLOYERS & the GOP.

            There is no way this can be conjured to be a DEM fail.

            Actually, you answered this in your comment above.

            It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

            by War on Error on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 06:00:27 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm sorry, but I didn't clearly state my concern, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              War on Error

              which is that Mr. Mollie and I MAY BE forced off our current employer-sponsored Group Health Plan.

              IOW--we want nothing to do with the (federal) Health Exchange.  And our state opted out of establishing an Exchange and/or expanded Medicaid.

              Unfortunately, the ACA has created some incentives for employers to "dump" their employer-sponsored plans--according to Mr. Mollie's employer (BTW, we've been covered by this plan for over a decade now).

              Mainly, his company states that they are considering this because of the huge increased costs to them (true or untrue--how knows, but that's what they say--and they especially point to having to add adult children under age 26, although they cite other costs, as well).

              Because of the ACA, Mr. M's company quite covering "working spouses"--which UPS is going to start next year--a couple of years ago--again, citing the upcoming costs to them of the ACA in 2014.

              So, I apologize if it sounded as though we upset because we're NOT going to participate in the Health Exchange.

              It is just the opposite, that concerns us.

              Especially since we know that we (by income) cannot qualify for a subsidy.

              So our major concern is that if they [Mr M's employer] dump us, our health insurance premiums may 'skyrocket,' or our actual benefits may be diminished, if we are forced into the federal Health Exchange.

              You see, we are both "Boomers," and we are not "age-rated" in a Group Health Plan.  Clearly, the most expensive plans in the Exchanges are those that can be charged a 3 to 1 ratio "higher rate"--and we would fall into that category.

              And my further "gripe" is that Democratic Senator Max Baucus allowed Liz Fowler, his former senior aide (and former WellPoint VP of Public Policy) to basically write the ACA, and that the ACA has several major flaws in it--including loopholes which allow employers to drop or dump their employees (or their dependents), etc.  

              From "Empty Wheel":

              The Max Baucus WellPoint/Liz Fowler Plan

              The ACA also allows many "self-funded" employers (including Mr M's) to "grandfather" plans, and for instance, by doing so, they do not have to pick up the "preventive care" expenses at 100%, etc.

              Also, as was covered at DKos earlier this year, some major corporations (like Mr M's) are allowed to offer "skinny plans"--and the same standards do not apply to these really huge employers.  

              So even if his employer keeps us, we wonder what the heck will be left of our health coverage, before it's all over, LOL!

              And, as we've already discussed, the way that the standard was written for employee and "dependent" subsidies is also very flawed.

              At any rate, even though our group health insurance plan is no longer "excellent"--it has been downgraded tremendously since the ACA passed (including in and out of network "out-of-pocket expenses")--we much prefer to stay in this Group plan, as opposed to going into the federal Health Exchange.  (That's just our personal preference, for a number of reasons.)

              Bottom line--we need Enhanced "Medicare-For-All."

              [And please, I don't mean for any of my policy positions to be taken personally, by anyone.  And I apologize in advance for "run-on sentences," redundacy, and possible typos. ;-)]

              Mollie

              "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


              hiddennplainsight

              by musiccitymollie on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 09:13:13 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You are right. Do I understand correctly? (0+ / 0-)

                Back in 2010, when I actually read the bill at that time, I thought it was a big mistake to give the Employers until 2017 to get with the ACA program.  I could see that employees whose employers had a grandfathered plan would be stuck.

                I had no idea, however, that employers would be allowed to discontinue coverage for spouses, which isn't new just unusual.  It would have made more sense for the law to force employers to cover spouses at a reasonable rate.

                As far as subsidies go, if I understand you correctly, your income wouldn't qualify you for subsidies anyway so that is a moot point to debate in your case.

                It does seem unfair that you might have to contribute 9.5% of family income for just your coverage PLUS pay for an individual policy for your husband which at his age can be costly.

                What an expensive conundrum.  In essence, the ACA didn't address this existing problem

                You have to wonder about why this was allowed to transpire.

                Could it be an incentive for employers to drop coverage in 2017, creating a National Health Insurance program?

                It is important to note that the median income for families in the US is under $45,000 and only $26,500 for individuals.  ACA is going to help a lot of families have access to affordable health care.

                Individual Median Income

                Taxes Median Income

                Family Median Income

                US County Household Median Income 2009 - h

                So, as you can see, those stuck in your ACA conundrum are a minority, although that doesn't reduce the ire towards the cost of health insurance for your group one bit.

                But Obamacare is going to help the large percent of families in this country, many of whom have been denied coverage.

                Do problems with large employer health insurance programs need to be addressed?  Of course, and they will be in 2017.
                And, btw, Baucus is a total rat fink!

                It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

                by War on Error on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 07:35:45 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Thanks for the excellent charts and info, WoE! (0+ / 0-)

                  And hey, I am very happy that millions of previously uninsured people will get health insurance--I just hope that it translates into really good "health care!"

                  I also agree with most of your views.  And I definitely appreciate that we can "talk," and even disagree " a tad" in a very civil and constructive manner.  Thank you!

                  BTW, excellent diary--it is very important for those of us who follow this issue, to share the information we glean with others.  

                  Diary recommended!

                  Mollie

                  "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


                  hiddennplainsight

                  by musiccitymollie on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 08:55:57 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  GOP not interested in Healthcare...only Wealthcare (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        War on Error

        GOP Wars against: Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Immigrants, Mexicans, Blacks, Gays, Women, Unions, Workers, Unemployed, Voters, Elderly, Kids, Poor, Sick, Disabled, Dying, Lovers, Kindness, Rationalism, Science, Sanity, Reality.

        by SGWM on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 04:05:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Link for the Kaiser Calculator (22+ / 0-)

    https://www.healthcare.gov/...

    For some reason, dkos not letting me edit the diary.

    It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

    by War on Error on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 09:37:54 AM PDT

    •  One caveat to this... (18+ / 0-)

      A couple of weeks ago I used the Kaiser Calculator and it was wildly higher in cost than what my state has ended up offering. Minnesota already has plans on line, don't know about other states, and it must be said that Minnesota will be one of the best places to sign up for the ACA, according to what I've read.

      Still, good to find out about your own state as opposed to using the Kaiser calculator, imo.

      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

      by StellaRay on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 10:05:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think the kaiser calculator (8+ / 0-)

        Might include state info

        That said, for states lucky enough to have good governance, do check with your state

        Utah is Mia to date

        It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

        by War on Error on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 10:19:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The one I used was generic. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sylv, ericlewis0, elwior, War on Error

          Which is not to say there aren't others on the site. And speaking of states without good governance, it's important to note that for people in states like Wisconsin, which have not set up exchanges, they are eligible for the Federal ACA exchanges, which isn't bad as there are currently 11 companies to choose from there, times the amount of plans they are offering. Lots of choices.

          "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

          by StellaRay on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 11:10:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  The actual credit value you are entitled to (5+ / 0-)

        is based upon the "benchmark" silver plan in the exchange, which is the second least expensive silver plan offered.  To know what this benchmark is, the calculator needs to be up to date with the premium value for this benchmark silver plan.

        For those interested, the maximum credit you can achieve is based on a cap that represents the maximum percentage of your household income to be spent towards insurance coverage.  These caps, which can be found in this fact sheet, are income dependent in the following manner:

        100-133% FPL: 2% of income
        133-150% FPL: 3 – 4% of income
        150-200% FPL: 4 – 6.3% of income
        200-250% FPL: 6.3 – 8.05% of income
        250-300% FPL: 8.05 – 9.5% of income
        300-400% FPL: 9.5% of income
        Within a given FPL range, the cap % scales linearly, e.g. for 175% FPL, the cap will be right in the middle of the 4-6.3% span at 5.15%.

        The calculation method for your credit then goes like this:

        • Maximum Amount Enrollee Pays for Benchmark Silver Premium = Cap (%) * Income

        If the enrollee’s unsubsidized premium is already less than their cap, he or she would not receive a subsidy.

        • Tax Credit = Unsubsidized Benchmark Silver Premium – Maximum Amount Enrollee Pays for Silver Premium

        Subsidized enrollees can apply their tax credit toward the purchase of other levels of coverage, such as bronze plans.

        • Amount Enrollee Pays for Bronze Premium = Unsubsidized Bronze Premium – Tax Credit

        For more on exchange subsidies, see the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Subsidy Calculator

        (taken from An Early Look at Premiums and Insurer Participation in Health Insurance Marketplaces, 2014)

        The calculation for the tax credit (2nd bullet point) requires a knowledge of the premium for the benchmark silver plan.  If this premium changes, like may happen when more plans are added to the exchange, then the tax credit picture will change as well.  This is also why you may see dramatically different credit values for a federal tax credit across various states.

      •  Kaiser calculator caveats (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        StellaRay
        Premiums in the calculator are illustrative examples in 2014 dollars derived from estimates of average premiums for 2016 from the Congressional Budget Office.
        The estimate doesn’t account for differences based on where you live, which will significantly affect Marketplace prices and offerings.

        I can't help it. I love the state of Texas. It's a harmless perversion. - Molly Ivins

        by rsmpdx on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 04:20:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  silver as good as the gold (23+ / 0-)

    for that family. That's an excellent catch. I'd never made that connection that the benefits combined like that.

  •  The big countdown is on. (24+ / 0-)

    SIX DAYS AND COUNTING.

    If our outcome is even half as good as what is predicted on the Kaiser calculator, I will be in heaven compared to what we are paying now.

    No wonder the Republicans are so anxious to not let people get a look.

    “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

    by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 09:49:13 AM PDT

    •  They might have really shot themselves in the foot (8+ / 0-)

      with this faux filibuster.  Everyone is paying attention now and you'd have to be an absolute fool not to sneak a peak, just to see if maybe you'll save a little money.  Ha.  

      •  It may actually do more than that. (6+ / 0-)

        With the focus on Obamacare, I suspect a number of folks will go look at the costs to prove how bad it is, so they can have talking points.  And then they'll find out that it isn't bad at all.  What then?  Shut up?  Admit they were wrong?  Or take the subsidies and pretend they didn't?  Whichever, it should cause some cognitive dissonance that will put a little worm in their minds.  Then when they keep hearing faux talk about how bad it is, they will have to reconcile what they know with what they hear. And the effect could spread to other things, and maybe some folks will figure out they've been snookered.

        Fantasyland, maybe. Or maybe not.

        Be bold. Be courageous. Americans are counting on you. Gabby Giffords.

        by Leftleaner on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 12:43:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  My money's on take the subsidies and pretend (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          War on Error, elwior, Leftleaner

          they didn't.  In a recent email, my hubby sent out info on the ACA.  Right wing brother in law was quick to correct him "it's not ACA, it's OBAMACARE"!  I suspect many right wingers will sign up for ACA, not Obamacare.  LOL.  In a year, right around the time of the midterms, we can tell them all:  nananananana!  you got Obamacare!

          •  The only right wingers against Obamacare are (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Fury, elwior

            the ones with one or more of the following:

            with NO health care issues at this time
            no kids
            Very high incomes
            Already on Medicare
            Have good employer funded health care
            Are heartless, rascist or both

            It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

            by War on Error on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 03:30:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  From the premium averages released today... (8+ / 0-)

      I'll end up paying for my wife's insurance less than a third of what the awful HMO coverage through my job costs, even if we turn out not to be eligible for any subsidies (haven't gotten an answer yet whether the fact that my crappy HMO coverage is free makes us ineligible).

      In 2014, we won't have to choose between food and medicine. And that's pretty cool.

      •  I hate to say this but it is my understanding (5+ / 0-)

        that if you are eligible for employer coverage (crappy though it may be) you are not able to go on the exchanges. I'm not sure how this would affect your wife. I don't know if she is able to reject the spousal coverage your company offers in favor of her own independent policy on the exchange. I would hope so, but don't know. I've heard this same issue come up with expensive employer offered family coverage where the family might be better on the exchange but won't be given the opportunity or the subsidy because they have access to employer insurance.

        Imagine if the Obamacare exchanges were such good deals that people were screaming to lose their employer coverage? We're about to enter into uncharted territory.

        “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

        by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 11:44:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  True. I fell into this. I looked at it last week (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          War on Error

          after people here told me the same thing and they were absolutely right.  I myself am below the 9.5% but adding my husband jumps it up to 30% and I'm screwed.  I could get a job independent contracting for a little less than what I make for my employer and I'm seriously thinking about it.  The only reason I took the job in the first place was to insure my chronically ill husband.

          •  I believe there are lots of people (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            War on Error, elwior, rsmpdx

            trapped in jobs they don't really care for strictly because of situations like yours. I predict a wave of people saying See Ya! to some below par employers and becoming self-employed independent contractors and entrepreneurs once they can finally obtain affordable insurance on their own. This in turn might put some pressure on the labor market to raise wages in order to keep and attract workers.

            “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

            by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 01:06:00 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I'm Wrong!!! (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            elwior, rsmpdx

            Because I have to buy my insurance through work, I thought I had to insure my husband there as well, but I don't.  He can apply separately through the marketplace.  It's so confusing so be sure to call.  

        •  I could be wrong, but I thought you could still (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Geiiga

          go on the exchange but not be eligible for a subsidy.

          You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

          by sewaneepat on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 01:48:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  We're eligible for the exchanges. (3+ / 0-)

          And that will save us a lot of money. We just may not be eligible for subsidies, which would be icing on the cake. But I've heard different hints from different people -- if we are eligible for subsidies just for my wife's insurance, it's worth it for me to also switch to an exchange plan.

  •  A website I find even more useful (6+ / 0-)

    is this one:
    http://www.obamacarefacts.com/

    Healthcare.gov requires a lot of clicks, and is slightly annoying for people gathering general information.

  •  I used it yesterday (12+ / 0-)

    it was simple to navigate and helpful.  Just need October 1 to get here for the pricing.

  •  It wouldn't surprise me to learn that the GOP (8+ / 0-)

    is actively working to hack and crash this website...

    ...you know, like our enemies try to do all the time.  It would be an act of cyber-terrorism.

    Meanwhile, that action would be right in line with their STATED OBJECTIVE, so they cannot say a word in response when that supposition is put forth.  Hey, they brought it on themselves.

    All it will take is millions across the country to feel the benefit, or even feel the perceived future benefit, and you won't be able to pry Obamacare from their warm living hands.

    Ayn sucks. Please know I am not rude. I cannot rec anything from this browser. When I rec or post diaries I am a guest at some exotic locale's computer.

    by Floyd Blue on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 10:11:04 AM PDT

  •  Thank you! (8+ / 0-)

    I am waiting for an answer on the chat line right this very moment.

    curious portal - to a world of paintings, lyric-poems, art writing, and graphic and web design

    by asterkitty on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 10:36:09 AM PDT

    •  This is how it went: (13+ / 0-)

      [1:31:34 pm]: Thanks for contacting Health Insurance Marketplace Live Chat. Please wait while we connect you to someone who can help.
      [1:31:37 pm]: Please be patient while we're helping other people.
      [1:31:39 pm]: Welcome! You're now connected to Health Insurance Marketplace Live Chat.

      Thanks for contacting us. My name is Ann. To protect your privacy, please don't provide any personal information, like Social Security Number, or any other sensitive medical or personal information.
      [1:31:54 pm]: Ann
      Hi, how may I help you?
      [1:34:01 pm]: Alexandria
      My question concerns eligibility for the exchanges for 2014. I am self-employed and low-income. In 2012 my income was below the poverty line because a client paid me late. In 2013 my income is going to be about 150% of poverty for a single person. I am pretty sure that my income is going to slowly go up year after year. I heard that they are going to use 2012 income for 2014 eligibility. Is this true and what can I do about that?
      [1:35:17 pm]: Ann
      Thank you. One moment please while I look that up.
      [1:35:26 pm]: Alexandria
      Thank you. I will wait.
      [1:36:19 pm]: Ann
      When you apply for lower costs through the Health Insurance Marketplace, you'll need to estimate your household's adjusted gross income for 2014. If you know your 2013 adjusted gross income, you can start with that amount and make any changes you expect in 2014.
      [1:37:21 pm]: Alexandria
      Wonderful. I can already estimate 2013 income. I had heard they were going to absolutely use 2012 income as the base. This is such a relief.

      curious portal - to a world of paintings, lyric-poems, art writing, and graphic and web design

      by asterkitty on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 10:40:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  One of my work colleagues (16+ / 0-)

    just asked me about it.
    I calmly explained that the ACA is not a bad thing. Gave him some of the easiest points to comprehend (that I could remember off the top of my head), and emailed him the www.healthcare.gov link.
    We are going to get them on board, one by one.

    America is a COUNTRY, not a CORPORATION. She doesn't need a CEO. Vote Obama.

    by manneckdesign on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 10:48:02 AM PDT

  •  I have a feeling not enough people (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    War on Error

    will sign up and instead elect to pay the fine, especially the first year. I hope i'm wrong but someone like me looking at what it would cost to buy insurance vs the fine, i'd probably go for the fine as a healthy young person. Even in '16 when the penalty is up to 700, it's still a fraction of what it would cost me to get insurance.

    By the way, I have insurance through my job - this is just an example if I didn't like my co-worker who is not enrolled and just pays our fine here in Mass.

  •  I just tried asking a question, but since Califor- (7+ / 0-)

    nia is doing it's own marketplace, I was instructed to go there. So it's also dependent on which state you are in.

    •  Found that as well (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      texasmom, War on Error, guyeda, Sylv, elwior

      Also I'm not sure if I'll be able to qualify -- technically I'm covered under Mr. Scribe's former employer's (retiree) benefits, but we have to pay for my coverage out of pocket (they pay for his with us paying $25/month deduction from the pension). Under the most recent union contract they should be paying for mine once I turn 55 in March, but I'm not sure if that's going to survive into the next contract. I need to do some more research.

      There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

      by Cali Scribe on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 11:05:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That is true; however, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      msdrown, elwior

      the States have to fall within fed guidelines.

      So, use the Kaiser calculator as if you from another state to get a gist of your costs, etc

      It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

      by War on Error on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 11:16:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you so much. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    texasmom, War on Error, elwior

    This is exactly what I have been looking for!

    People keep asking me about it and I keep promising to find answers.

    Thank you again.

  •  I checked our estimate for Texas, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    War on Error, StellaRay, Odysseus, elwior

    (which of course will NOT be administered by our State) and the Silver plan premiums are about $3400 higher than we currently pay BCBS,  Now that is for two 50-60 yr. olds with a current $2500 deductible.

    I'll be sure to check again after the real rates are available.  We never meet our deductibles anyway and have no prescriptions, so we're good with that.

    The truth always matters.

    by texasmom on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 11:10:43 AM PDT

    •  Did you check this on the Federal exchange? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      War on Error, texasmom, elwior

      which is what folks in any state who has not set up exchanges will use. Or did you use the Kaiser calculator? Also, what is BCBS?

      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

      by StellaRay on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 11:20:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Texmom... (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        texasmom, msdrown, elwior, rsmpdx, StellaRay

        Blue Cross Blue Shield.

        Isn't there a separate federal exchange for each state that is not running their own exchange?  

        Texmom, (a) wait until next month to get the real rates.  Figure that there may be some technical corrections in the early days and weeks.  (B)  compare what is and is not covered in your present plan vs. the new plans....annual caps, lifetime cap, exclusions, etc.  We never know when we will have a devastating condition where we'll need all the help we can get--car wreck, fertilizer warehouse explosion, terrible illness.

      •  Blue Cross Blue Shield (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elwior, War on Error, StellaRay

        of Texas.  I used the Kaiser calculator.  I do plan to check back when actual numbers come out.

        The truth always matters.

        by texasmom on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 11:48:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And this has been the experience (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          War on Error, texasmom

          of many I've talked with regarding the Kaiser calculator. They're getting rates MUCH higher than the actual rates their state is offering.

          Remember, that since Texas has not set up its own exchanges, your "state" will be the federal ACA exchanges, which I have stated above, will give you MANY choices.

          "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

          by StellaRay on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 05:20:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I used it to verify that even if I have employer- (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    War on Error, grover, elwior

    sponsored health benefits, I could opt to sign up for the ACA benefits.

    It's pretty darn slick.

    •  I'm not sure you can opt out of employer (0+ / 0-)

      sponsored plan, but I could be wrong.  But I do think your contribution to your employer plan can't exceed a certain percentage of your income and must comply with fed details, like preventative care etc.

      Could you share where you got your info?

      Thanks.

      It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

      by War on Error on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 11:33:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I used the healthcare.gov website, and since I (0+ / 0-)

        didn't have all the numbers at hand, I did a simulation,  built a hypothetical  scenario where my health coverage was deemed "affordable". I did this in order to determine a worst-case-scenario of what my monthly costs would be in the exchange. "Affordable" means you aren't eligible for subsidies/tax credits, but, you can still join the exchange.

        Under this hypothetical, my monthly costs for coverage at my employer are less than what ACA exchange would be, but, I can join the exchange.

        To start, go to the website, and click on the green "SEE YOUR OPTIONS" box. It will take you through a series of questions, pick the one that best describes you. If you don't have your salary numbers, just put in a ball-park. It's not like taxes, where every $300 (or so) changes your tax payment/refund. I put in both my adjusted gross and my after-deductions total, and the exchange cost didn't change. YMMV.

        What I love about ACA is that the exchange is cheaper than Cobra. I work for a non-profit medical research org, we could lose our NIH funding anytime. Having ACA as an option is such a relief.

  •  Great Info! Thanks Again for Sharing this! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    War on Error, elwior

    Tipped and Recced!

    I'm a "right-wing freak show," or at least that's what one nobody on DKOS seems to think.

    by kefauver on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 11:26:59 AM PDT

  •  Good deal. I just referred someone there a (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ybruti, askew, Odysseus, guyeda, elwior, rsmpdx

    Few minutes ago. The shuttle driver and I were chatting about the plan. He's a retired government employee: worked in the state healthcare division. He totally supports Obamacare.

    But he still had some facts wrong. For example, he said he didn't understand how poor people who couldn't afford to buy healthcare would be penalized if they couldn't buy policies.

    I explained the mandate, subsidies, and the fact that actual poor people would be covered by subsidies, Medicaid, Children's Health Insurance, etc.

    I also explained the reason behind the mandate: it's like you can't cant go without homeowner's insurance then suddenly buy insurance once a hurricane has been announced. (Policies actually exclude this). It's not fair to people who have been paying premiums for years.

    He found that perfectly reasonable.

    He seemed genuinely relieved to know this, said this was the one thing that he thought was grossly unfair.  

    This man chats with customers all day long. People like him need to have facts.

    It's rather our job to make sure we undo the intentional distortions that have been on TV for years now.

    © grover


    So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

    by grover on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 11:38:52 AM PDT

  •  I'm SOL (4+ / 0-)

    1.  Income under $11K
    2.  61 y/o
    3.  State not taking expanded medicaid

    No subsidy - over $1K/mo.  Have to pay the fine and do without.

    Glad it works for others, though!

    •  You make under 11k and don't qualify for medicaid? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      War on Error, elwior

      God.

      At least in 4 years you get medicare;

      Tax and Spend I can understand. I can even understand Borrow and Spend. But Borrow and give Billionaires tax cuts? That I have a problem with.

      by LiberalCanuck on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 11:53:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  They use projected 2014 income, not 2013 income (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      msdrown, ybruti, War on Error, elwior

      So just project that you'll make a little more (around $15k) to get above the threshold.  The IRS will be looking at people who understate their income, but not overstate it.  And even if they do you can go back next year and say you expected to find a better job but didn't have any luck at it.

      Intelligence agencies keep things secret because they often violate the rule of law or of good behavior. -Julian Assange-

      by ChadmanFL on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 11:59:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The threshold is $11,490. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        guyeda, elwior

        You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

        by sewaneepat on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 01:59:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think the threshold will increase to (0+ / 0-)

          133% FDL making more eligible

          It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

          by War on Error on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 05:48:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think you have that backwards. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            War on Error

            $11,490 is the FDL for a single person. $15,281 is 133% FDL so increasing the threshold to that would make fewer people eligible.

            Though it occurs to me that we are talking apples and oranges perhaps. You may be talking about Medicaid eligibility (which I think is set by states) and I am talking about ACA exchange subsidy eligibility. So even though the final regulations say you get a subsidy if you make at least 100% of FDL, apparently some people in some states which are not expanding Medicaid will not get a subsidy because their income is too small.

            Of course, if we had a Congress with both a brain and a heart, this would be a simple fix. But unfortunately, we have many Congresspeople who only have an ass.

            You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

            by sewaneepat on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 06:50:07 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  In the familys case (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        guyeda, elwior

        husband was laid off in September.  So his new income will count.

        Again, you can claim what you want for a subsidy when you sign up online.  Then, when your 2014 income tax is filed, the IRS will see if you either under or overestimated your income and whether you asked for the correct amount of subsidy.

        If you took too much, you will have to pay it in 2015.  If you took too little, you will get a refund.

        Read this from the diary

        The Affordable Care Act provides a new tax credit to help you afford health coverage purchased through the Marketplace. Advance payments of the tax credit can be used right away to lower your monthly premium costs.

        If you qualify, you may choose how much advance credit payments to apply to your premiums each month, up to a maximum amount.

        If the amount of advance credit payments you get (asked for too little when you signed up) for the year is less than the tax credit you're due, you'll get the difference as a refundable credit when you file your federal income tax return.

        If your advance payments (you asked for when you signed up) for the year are more than the amount of your credit, you must repay the excess advance payments with your tax return.

        Also called premium tax credit.

        It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

        by War on Error on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 02:57:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  No fine. (10+ / 0-)

      If your state is not offering Medicaid expansion, and you are low income, below the subsidy plans FDL, you will not pay a fine.

      You should find a link to Community Health Clinics in your area at this link

      https://www.healthcare.gov/...

      http://kff.org/...

      this is the one glitch I don't get, why aren't lowest incomes subsidized when states don't offer medicaid expansion?

      SHAME ON ALL STATES NOT EXPANDING MEDICAID.

      SHAME
      SHAME
      SHAME

      It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

      by War on Error on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 12:45:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So once again, the poor (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        War on Error

        simply have to do without. My state [NC] is not expanding Medicaid. And the waiting list is always years long in my region anyway, no matter how needy you are. I don't understand why, if the feds are offering subsidies for up to 400% FPL, why a Medicaid level of coverage can't be offered to those who would otherwise qualify, from exchange providers. Paid for just like subsidies for those who aren't so poor.

        This is a serious hole, it seems to me. Then again, people in the poorest sections of this country are used to doing without. Local hospitals are kept afloat by the feds eventually covering indigent care, seems like the states and feds would actually save money by divvying the cost of honest ACA compliant insurance policies for everyone at or below the poverty line, phase out Medicaid altogether.

        One day we may get universal coverage in this country, all necessary and prudent health care cradle to grave. Then we wouldn't need Medicaid, Medicare, SCHIP, etc., etc. at all.

        •  It is a hole (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Joieau

          which is because the subsidies are paid for with an individuals tax liability.  If income is too low to have a tax liability, then no subsidy.

          But there is Medicaid except

          FOR THE STATES WITH HEARTLESS GOVERNORS

          Refusing Medicaid expansion covered 100% by the Fed for 3 years and 90% covered by the Fed thereafter.

          I hope this incentivises people to get out and vote and GET RID OF HEARTLESS GOVERNORS.

          It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

          by War on Error on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 04:19:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Awful about Ohio; sorry =( (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      War on Error, elwior

      While you dream of Utopia, we're here on Earth, getting things done.

      by GoGoGoEverton on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 01:46:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Community Health Centers will serve you (0+ / 0-)

      on a sliding scale. With an income under $11,000 you will qualify for a 75% discount, and they are usually the lowest cost option in the are to begin with, and very good at helping to find every other form of assistance you might be eligible for as well.

      You can find the community health center nearest you here: http://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/...

      The CHC should be able to get you discounted medications too, and many areas also have dental clinics. If you need more help with affording medications, check to see if there is a patient assistance program available to you:
      http://www.needymeds.org/

      And here's hoping we can get that subsidy gap in non-medicaid expansion states covered soon!

  •  Medicaid is a fatal flaw that will leave out MANY (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    msdrown, badlands, guyeda, elwior, Joieau

    Fact is if you make <133% of the federal poverty rate and you live in a state that refused to expand Medicaid you get ZERO subsidies.  That's right, you can make $0 in income in many states and have to pay full price with zero assistance.  It's a really unfortunate situation where many of the poorest will still have no affordable access to health care.

    I've been supporting my mom for many years, paying out of pocket as she is unable to work and not able to get insurance.  What I'm leaning towards doing is claiming her projected income for 2014 will be slightly over the poverty threshhold so she can get subsidies.  I'm sure the IRS will look hard at applications where people claim too little income, but won't do so with people overestimating their income.  Even if they do she can just say she expected to find a minimum wage job that would pay around $15k a year, but was unable.  I suspect a lot of people in states without Medicaid will have to do something similar to get around this ridiculous loophole.

    Intelligence agencies keep things secret because they often violate the rule of law or of good behavior. -Julian Assange-

    by ChadmanFL on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 11:57:13 AM PDT

    •  I hope those individuals know EXACTLY where (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      War on Error, elwior, rsmpdx

      to put the blame for this type of tragedy . . . Perry, Scott, Walker, Kasich, Snyder, Deal and all the other red state governors that would rather see their citizens suffer than give BHO and Dems a victory.

      Assholes.

      •  I'll bet they don't (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Brooke In Seattle

        Most will probably just blame Obama, as usual.  Though I will admit the administration should have expected more resistance on the Medicaid issue and written in a fall-back option should states decline to expand it.

        Intelligence agencies keep things secret because they often violate the rule of law or of good behavior. -Julian Assange-

        by ChadmanFL on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 12:07:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't think Obama's team expected (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          War on Error

          that Roberts would cut the baby in half with his SCOTUS ruling.

          I like your idea about guesstimating a slightly higher income in order to be eligible for subsidies on the basic program (w/o dependency on state Medicaid). It seems to be a reasonable act of civil disobedience in the face of the unreasonable obstructionism on the part of many red state governors.

          •  The Medicaid ruling was not 5-4 (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            War on Error

            It was at least 6-3 or 7-2 with liberal justices siding with the right-wing of the court.  I think Sotomayor and one other member of the left-side of the court allowed for states to decide on the Medicaid expansion.

            Intelligence agencies keep things secret because they often violate the rule of law or of good behavior. -Julian Assange-

            by ChadmanFL on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 12:21:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Except you could end up having to pay it back (0+ / 0-)

            when you file your 2014 Tax return in 2015.

            It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

            by War on Error on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 02:58:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  HEARTLESS GOP GOVERNORS! HATRIOTS (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        badlands

        SHAME FOR NOT EXPANDING MEDICARE.

        100% PAID FOR FOR 3 YEARS

        90% PAID FOR THEREAFTER

        LET CHARITIES PICK UP THE 10% NOT COVERED, IF CHARITIES ARE THAT WILLING TO HELP PROVIDE HEALTH CARE TO THE POOR

        It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

        by War on Error on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 12:48:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  HMMM... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      guyeda

      I hadn't  considered this.  Dunno if I would be comfortable doing that - I have a real fear of getting caught.

    •  The tax credit reconciliation process is unlikely (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      War on Error

      to occur in the way that you present it.  The IRS will have all the information they need to determine the specific credit you are entitled to because you, and others, will provide them that information during the federal tax filing period.  The good news, though, is that the exchanges are given the discretion to do just as you say:  provide advanced tax credits if a household believes their income will improve from a situation where they currently fall below the assistance level.  There also exist certain caps for repayment of overestimated tax credits, but they are no more likely to abandon the tax you owe based on this advanced credit any more than they are to abandon any other tax you may owe.  And then there's the whole fraud and perjury thing.  

      Additionally, my understanding is that the lower limit for assistance is 100% FPL, independent of whether or not your state has expanded Medicaid.  See the final rule for the Health Insurance Premium Tax Credit, "Section 1.36B–2 Eligibility for premium tax credit," near the bottom of the first column.  Alternatively, you may look at the table on the bottom of p. 30392.  If you're interested, you can also look at the details of the reconciliation process on p. 30394 in "Section 1.36B–4 Reconciling the premium tax credit with advance credit payments."

      •  The subsidy will be adjusted according (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        guyeda

        to the 2014 Tax Return filed in 2015.

        See diary for explanation.

        It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

        by War on Error on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 03:00:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  In the case of my family member (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          War on Error

          She is unable to work.  There's won't be a 2014 or 2015 tax return.  I fail to see how the IRS is going to come back on her for projecting too much income.  And how are they going to penalize someone who projected they'd find a job, but failed?  You can't prove someone lied on their projected 2014 income in that manner.

          Intelligence agencies keep things secret because they often violate the rule of law or of good behavior. -Julian Assange-

          by ChadmanFL on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 03:21:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The one glitch I don't understand (0+ / 0-)

            is not providing health care subsidies to those with no or below 100% FDL in states where Medicaid isn't an option.

            There's no problem in over projecting income EXCEPT the IRS will claw back the overpayments.  An IRS bill accrues interest.  So have your friend be careful unless she can afford to pay in the end.

            I think charities should step in and help in states where Governors refuse to expand Medicaid (the heartless bahsteds)

            It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

            by War on Error on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 03:26:50 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Please help spread the word about CHCs (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      War on Error

      People in this situation can get care at a community health center in their area, usually at a 75% discount. Here's where they can find a center:
      http://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/...

      We need to get the gap fixed, but people shouldn't have to go without basic health care in the meanwhile.

  •  Drudge says insurance costs up by 60 to 90% (0+ / 0-)

    Someone should write a diary on this, I'm sure this will become a talking point for them. Forbes has put out this trash, comparing the cost of the cheapest plans before Obamacare and the cheapest after Obamacare (bronze plans from exchanges no doubt). Suggesting they are the same sort of plans. Evil, they are! I have not looked into it but since I'm a smart guy I bet the plan they compare before Obamacare was one of those near useless cheapo plans that had high copay and very low lifetime claim limits. Very restrictive. So useless in fact I heard these plans are not allowed in the exchanges. They are comparing apples and oranges. So when you hear that insurance is going up 90% please tell the brainwashed, "Oh yes, that compares a pre Obamacare scam plan with few benefits (that would leave you poor and sick) to a post Obamacare plan that has some really good benefits that will never leave you poor and without care.

    •  Florida, and many other red states did this (0+ / 0-)

      The state of Florida put out a BS projection showing the average premiums going up around 40%.  Of course they gave almost no explanation of their methodology and it was quickly debunked by health care experts.  Still, many states governed by the GOP are putting out these sham reports to try and sway public opinion.

      Intelligence agencies keep things secret because they often violate the rule of law or of good behavior. -Julian Assange-

      by ChadmanFL on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 12:17:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Strangely, our Texas (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      War on Error, Odysseus

      premiums increased 321% from 1997 through 2011, but only by $30/month since the Supreme Court decision in 2012.  That was related to a "significant" birthday.  

      The truth always matters.

      by texasmom on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 01:14:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Simply not true. (0+ / 0-)

      It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

      by War on Error on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 03:00:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I got kicked off Google+ for two weeks (5+ / 0-)

    because I was "spamming" tea party propaganda sites with the link to www.healthcare.gov and encouraging people to go find out for themselves and not trust the right wing media.

    So the rest of you all need to pick up the slack while I remain in the penalty box.

    "Work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed." -- Vaclav Havel

    by greendem on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 12:20:25 PM PDT

  •  i don't have health insurance (14+ / 0-)

    ...i work two jobs. One for 30 hours a week and one for 12 hours a week. i make about $32,000/year. i live in Maine.

    an individual health insurance policy was about $600-$700 a month a couple years ago when i last looked.

    according to the Kaiser calculator, my premium for the Silver plan will be about $2,841 per year. i could get a subsidy of up to $655 which would break down to about $182 per month.

    do-able!

    "An inglorious peace is better than a dishonorable war." -Mark Twain

    by humanistique on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 12:26:52 PM PDT

  •  The subsidy should have gone directly.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    War on Error

    ....to the insurance companies to lower the premium paid by the insured.  Yeah, I know that sounds horrible. But the insurance companies are gonna bill the insured at the FULL RATE and when that bill comes in every month Americans are going to look at that burden and not see the benefit of the subsidy that could completely disappear if it is needed for groceries or a rent check.

    If you hate government, don't run for office in that government.

    by Bensdad on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 12:33:43 PM PDT

    •  This is not true. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew, rsmpdx

      Go to live chat, they will explain.

      or see diary above for answer.

      the subsidy will be be collected from your tax liability in your pay check. the fed will forward to insurance.

      It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

      by War on Error on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 12:51:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What if you don't want medicare? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    War on Error

    One of my relatives only makes $14k/year in Az, which expanded Medicare. But he doesn't want medicare, he is willing to buy on the exchange. He wanted to know if he has to accept medicare; I told him I think he has to go on medicare ... but I would look into it...

    Anyone know?

    A mind like a book, has to be open to function properly.

    by falconer520 on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 01:08:46 PM PDT

    •  Why? (0+ / 0-)

      That said, he might qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid.  You will have to check in Jan to see what the new Medicaid qualification is for 2014.  Medicaid can pay the $100/mo premium for Part B as well as deductibles for certain levels of FDL.

      Also, until the plans post in October, we won't know for sure if the policies will accept someone that is age 65 or older.  One of the questions is

      Are you eligible for health care insurance from another source?

      If the plans accepted the 65+ group, the premiums for all would be higher, as well.

      So, why would he want other than Medicare?

      It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

      by War on Error on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 01:17:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Then, there are also Medicare Advantage plans (0+ / 0-)

        though I don't know enough to go on about them.

        It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

        by War on Error on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 01:18:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  My bad, Medicade not Medicare... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        War on Error

        He is 32 and currently pays $100+ /month for a catastrophic BCBS plan. He doesn't want to be forced on to what he sees as welfare, if he can afford to pay for it he would prefer to buy on the exchange.

        A mind like a book, has to be open to function properly.

        by falconer520 on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 01:46:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  ACA, Medicaid, whatever (0+ / 0-)

          are just names for different programs, all providing health care.  It depends on income, period.

          We could all work a little harder on overcoming shame for wherever we fall in this unjust system where the 1% is in control.

          No shame, K?  Tell him I said so.

          It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

          by War on Error on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 03:15:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  this is a reason medicaid on the exchange (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            War on Error, ChadmanFL, falconer520

            is something I'd like to see.

            Then people like this 32-year-old who qualifies for medicaid can just choose it instead of having to prove qualification or refusing it because of some misguided pride.

            •  Yep, foolish pride not wanting to take a handout (0+ / 0-)

              People who follow that course often end up turning to meth manufacture and becoming the drug kingpin of New Mexico.

              Intelligence agencies keep things secret because they often violate the rule of law or of good behavior. -Julian Assange-

              by ChadmanFL on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 06:48:38 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Tell him it's not welfare (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          War on Error

          He almost certainly paid into the system his entire life through taxes.  If he doesn't go for that I'd probably advise him to look into Medicare Advantage.  It may be funded by Medicare, but it's private insurance.

          Intelligence agencies keep things secret because they often violate the rule of law or of good behavior. -Julian Assange-

          by ChadmanFL on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 03:16:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Can it tell me why (0+ / 0-)

    my insurance cost is going up 30% next year? That's what I want to know.

    "The next time everyone will pay for it equally, and there won't be any more Chosen Nations, or any Others. Poor bastards all." ~The Boomer Bible

    by just another vet on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 01:22:04 PM PDT

  •  Here in Wash. State, I just took a look at (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    War on Error, Odysseus, rsmpdx

    our healthcare marketplace just to see what was out there, and I was very very pleased. We got it right? Here in Spokane County there are 7 Insurance companies to choose from, and then there are links to other helpful websites if you are self employed or run a small business. We are a progressive leader, and someone really did their homework here.

  •  Loved Your Poll (0+ / 0-)

    It's the right thing to do.

  •  Thank you for the diary and the link (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    War on Error, rsmpdx

    I have about 30 employees so I will look into this after 10/1/13.
    Already offer coverage but if I can get it cheaper and better coverage for my employees then I'm all in.

    •  The government under ACA (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rsmpdx

      might pay up to 35% subsidy towards the premiums for your company with less than 50 employees.

      I think small business owners need to crunch the numbers to see what is the best deal for the employees.

      It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

      by War on Error on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 03:04:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Can someone explain "MAGI"? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    War on Error

    Some number called MAGI is used to determine subsidies.  Does anyone know what this means?  I've read descriptions of what it is but I can't figure out how to calculate it or find it on my tax returns.  Is MAGI the same as Adjusted Gross Income?  Any help is appreciated.

    Intelligence agencies keep things secret because they often violate the rule of law or of good behavior. -Julian Assange-

    by ChadmanFL on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 04:28:18 PM PDT

    •  “modified adjusted gross income” (MAGI) (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ChadmanFL

      Sarah Kliff, WaPO, "FAQ: Everything you need to know about Obamacare’s coverage options, in one post"

      MAGI includes any income filed for federal taxes plus foreign income and tax-exempt interest (those last two are traditionally excluded from the federal definition of income).

      I can't help it. I love the state of Texas. It's a harmless perversion. - Molly Ivins

      by rsmpdx on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 05:30:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I will try to simplify (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ChadmanFL

      See how Adjusted Income is computed on 1040s

      This is the 1040 long form.

      http://www.irs.gov/...

      This will help teachers, those with student loan debt, IRA contributions, tuition and fees show a lower income than the Gross Income.  See the list.

      Otherwise, it won't apply to anyone else from what I can see.

      SSI provides a short explanation here.

      Generally, your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) is the total of your adjusted gross income and tax-exempt interest income you may have. These are the amounts on lines 37 and 8b of IRS from 1040.
      Why is MAGI important?

      States have always differed in how they determine eligibility for Medicaid and SCHIP.  These differences are no long allowed under the ACA.  You can read about the MAGI requirement here.

      States will have to change their eligibility requirements so there will be a more national standard for eligibility.  Those is sucky states like Utah will really benefit IF Utah decides to accept the expanded Medicaid program.  

      Those with items that are listed on the 1040 as Gross Income Adjustments will create an Adjusted Gross Income.  The states will have to accept this AGI as the income instead of the Gross Income, making more people eligible.

      Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) is where things become more complex.  You can read about the complexities here.  Even this complex document leaves gaps of information.  I don't see a purpose in reading it, quite frankly, although I did read most of it for you.

      I do like this resource.

      It lists out The Most Significant Actions of the March 2012 Rule on Medicaid Eligibility Changes

      Although the last item on the list raised my eyebrows:

      Permits entities other than the Medicaid or welfare agency, including nongovernmental exchange entities, to determine
      eligibility - In its May 16, 2012, “General Guidance on Federally-facilitated Exchanges,” CMS states that it will seek further comment regarding ways states can engage non-profits and private contractors while having government agencies still make final eligibility determinations.
      On the other end of the income scale, the rich also have a MAGI issue.  If you are you interested in this aspect, click here?

      In short, Medicaid eligibility will be raised to at least 133% FDL with some tweaking here and there.  This will be an eligibility increase for many states.

      We will have to wait to see what the states will do.  Some have already complied with the MAGI and new eligibility requirements (computed on a complex set of facts, btw)

      It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

      by War on Error on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 05:47:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Premiums not posted for Oregon yet (0+ / 0-)

    I also don't know for sure if the plan for my wife and son will continue into 2014.  Apparently, many plans for individuals are being discontinued.  They have to give us 90 days notice before discontinuing, so that would be next week some time, I guess.

    So, I did some back-of-the-envelope estimates, using a Kaiser Family Foundation study, September, 2013.  (An early look at premiums and insurer participation in health insurance marketplaces, 2014.)

    Estimated monthly premium for Portland (second lowest cost silver plan, before subsidies.)  Total for my wife and son would be about $585, or $7020 annually.  This is considerably below the Kaiser calculator’s estimate, and way below ($5500 less than) what we are paying for 2013.

    This is without subsidies, which we are not eligible for.

    I can't help it. I love the state of Texas. It's a harmless perversion. - Molly Ivins

    by rsmpdx on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 04:43:09 PM PDT

  •  Does Not Work in Texas (0+ / 0-)

    They just say wait until October 1 to find out rates and premiums.

  •  Except for the problems with the website (0+ / 0-)

    What problems you ask

    The White House just admitted to the following problems.

    1) healthcare.gov doesn't tell you if you qualify for a tax credit(Seems no one thought that bug needed to be fixed before go-live)

    2) healthcare.gov is currently unable to transmit medicare paperwork to the state like planned (We'll fix that soon...maybe)

    3) Small business support is currently broken(....err sorry our bad!!)

    4) crap someone forgot to do the Spanish translation.

    Okay the first 3 are bugs.......big bugs that should be fixed before go live.  However #4 is just stupid.  Obama has been doing everything possible to buy the Hispanic vote and they forget to get the Spanish version of healthcare.gov translated before Oct 1st.......WTF?

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