Author Topic: 2017 ACA plan info now available  (Read 31378 times)

Bracken_Joy

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Re: 2017 ACA plan info now available
« Reply #50 on: October 30, 2016, 03:56:21 PM »

If it worked out cheaper, and you were ok with gambling a bit, you could "just pay the fine" and also augment with non-ACA compliant "short term insurance"

I see this non-ACA compliant term, I'm not sure what that means.
Many policies were eliminated when the ACA started, because they weren't ACA compliant.
I have a policy that was grandfathered in with a few adjustments, unlimited cap vs 5 million, and it now pays for a yearly physical and a colonoscopy every 5 years.
I'm not sure there are non-ACA compliant policies available, because they are non compliant.
 Anyone have more details.

Well, for example there is this phenomena, although it's actually allowed under the ACA apparently: http://www.wsj.com/articles/more-people-turn-to-faith-based-groups-for-health-coverage-1451867541
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CanuckExpat

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Re: 2017 ACA plan info now available
« Reply #51 on: October 30, 2016, 05:13:44 PM »

If it worked out cheaper, and you were ok with gambling a bit, you could "just pay the fine" and also augment with non-ACA compliant "short term insurance"

I see this non-ACA compliant term, I'm not sure what that means.
Many policies were eliminated when the ACA started, because they weren't ACA compliant.
I have a policy that was grandfathered in with a few adjustments, unlimited cap vs 5 million, and it now pays for a yearly physical and a colonoscopy every 5 years.
I'm not sure there are non-ACA compliant policies available, because they are non compliant.
 Anyone have more details.

Well, for example there is this phenomena, although it's actually allowed under the ACA apparently: http://www.wsj.com/articles/more-people-turn-to-faith-based-groups-for-health-coverage-1451867541

Healthcare ministries as mentioned above are one option, though technically they are not health insurance at all, and make no guarantees to pay claims. They are allowed as an alternate option under ACA, and if you are a member you can avoid paying the penalty for having no insurance. Some health care ministries do not require you to be religious.

Other examples include short term health insurance .. these don't meet the requirements of ACA plans, but they are allowed for short term use (though you can possibly stich them together for a whole year). If you have one of these, you would still have to pay the penalty for being "uninsured", unless you are exempt through some others means (short coverage gap, healthcare ministry, hardship, etc). These also don't have the protections of ACA plans, so you can't for example pick this up after you get pregnant.

Other examples include world wide catastrophic coverage (ie travelers insurance), these usually have some limited US coverage, and would not meet ACA minimum coverage so again, you'd be stuck paying the penalty unless you are exempt by some others means (including being out of the country for 330 days or more). I think a lot of these plans might also only cover you if you don't spend too much time in the US. Nobody wants to pay for expensive US healthcare, including the insurers :)
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BTDretire

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Re: 2017 ACA plan info now available
« Reply #52 on: October 31, 2016, 09:47:32 AM »
So, basically you pay the fine and get a Non ACA compliant policy.
I see for 2016 the fine was 2.5% of your income or a to maximum of $2,085.
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mathjak107

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Re: 2017 ACA plan info now available
« Reply #53 on: November 01, 2016, 04:48:57 AM »
many are buying non compliant healthcare insurance as a safety net and paying the fine .

but they have to be careful , medicare will not consider them as acceptable prior insurance and you can run in to all kinds of issues . medicare requires that you slide off a compliant insurance plan  when you are close to filing age .

you have to check to see how far in advance you need to have qualified insurance .

Penny Lane

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Re: 2017 ACA plan info now available
« Reply #54 on: November 01, 2016, 08:49:32 AM »
DH and I are going from $1100./month to $1400/mo in our early 60's; bronze with $13K deductable.  Whoa.  We are mostly retired but consult parttime.  Available but not affordable.

If you are living only on retirement $--IRA's, 401K's etc-- does that money count in the formulation? 

seattlecyclone

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Re: 2017 ACA plan info now available
« Reply #55 on: November 01, 2016, 10:53:07 AM »
DH and I are going from $1100./month to $1400/mo in our early 60's; bronze with $13K deductable.  Whoa.  We are mostly retired but consult parttime.  Available but not affordable.

If you are living only on retirement $--IRA's, 401K's etc-- does that money count in the formulation? 

If it counts toward your Adjusted Gross Income, it generally counts for the ACA. Withdrawals from traditional IRAs and 401(k)s count. If you have a taxable investment account, dividends and capital gains count, but not the return of principal after a sale. Withdrawals from Roth accounts and HSAs generally don't count as income for the ACA because they generally don't count as income for the purpose of taxation.
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Northwestie

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Re: 2017 ACA plan info now available
« Reply #56 on: November 01, 2016, 11:37:14 AM »
thanks - helpful blog site BTW

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Re: 2017 ACA plan info now available
« Reply #57 on: November 01, 2016, 01:26:21 PM »
Thanks, Seatlecyclone!  I guess I am just lucky to have the $; many are not.  It's a huge incentive to stay healthy as well ( for things under one person's control); we eat well, have always been normal weight, exercise, laugh.  It's the prices of hospitals/care/meds that should change.  No one can afford them.

Peter Gibbons

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Re: 2017 ACA plan info now available
« Reply #58 on: November 02, 2016, 06:05:06 AM »
Mathjak107: Thanks or the useful info. I'm also coming off COBRA 1/1/17, and have started to research plans & try to figure out whether or not I will qualify for a subsidy.

Plans look expensive & not great, but if not for the ACA I think I would be uninsurable due to pre-existing conditions, so I'm glad to have this option.

Question:  I FIRE'd in June.  Currently on COBRA paying $1800/ month for family of 5.  I am eligible to stay on COBRA for a total of 18 months thru end of 2017.  I ws surprised when I did my ACA application yesterday that having this extremely expensive COBRA eligibility disqualifies my for any ACA premium subsidy for 2017!  Does that sound right ??

Gin1984

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Re: 2017 ACA plan info now available
« Reply #59 on: November 02, 2016, 07:15:21 AM »
Thanks, Seatlecyclone! I guess I am just lucky to have the $; many are not.  It's a huge incentive to stay healthy as well ( for things under one person's control); we eat well, have always been normal weight, exercise, laugh.  It's the prices of hospitals/care/meds that should change.  No one can afford them.
But that was point of the tax credits.  My mom's ACA plan never exceeds 10% of her earned income.  Which makes it affordable. 

AdrianC

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Re: 2017 ACA plan info now available
« Reply #60 on: November 02, 2016, 07:21:09 AM »
Question:  I FIRE'd in June.  Currently on COBRA paying $1800/ month for family of 5.  I am eligible to stay on COBRA for a total of 18 months thru end of 2017.  I ws surprised when I did my ACA application yesterday that having this extremely expensive COBRA eligibility disqualifies my for any ACA premium subsidy for 2017!  Does that sound right ??

I thought the subsidy was based on your projected MAGI. For you 5, same as us, your MAGI needs to be less than $113,760. The benchmark Silver plan (second least expensive Silver plan) should be 9.66% of your MAGI.

At a $95k MAGI our premium came to $765/mo including a subsidy of $225/mo. Unfortunately we don't like that plan and will be spending more, but that's our choice.

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Re: 2017 ACA plan info now available
« Reply #61 on: November 02, 2016, 07:30:54 AM »
Question:  I FIRE'd in June.  Currently on COBRA paying $1800/ month for family of 5.  I am eligible to stay on COBRA for a total of 18 months thru end of 2017.  I ws surprised when I did my ACA application yesterday that having this extremely expensive COBRA eligibility disqualifies my for any ACA premium subsidy for 2017!  Does that sound right ??


I'm not sure whether or not you can opt out of COBRA and into an ACA plan, but if you do have the option of staying on COBRA, be sure to carefully compare that with your ACA options. I've been on COBRA since I FIRE'D in July 2015, and my eligibility ends 12/31/2016, so I will be moving to an ACA plan. Boy, would I stay on my COBRA plan if I could. My premiums will be about the same either way, but my COBRA plan was a PPO BCBS, with a $400 deductible in-network, $1400 deductible out-of-network, wide network, good reimbursement for docs, low out-of-pocket maximum, reasonable co-pays.

In my state there are zero PPO plans, so I will have to choose an HMO. I'm not done with research, but it appears that only 1 of my 3 docs is covered by any of our state plans, and I'm looking at a deductible in the thousands for in-network docs. It appears that I will be paying some of my docs in un-reimbursable cash in order to continue seeing them.

Another vote for Single Payer for all, a public option, lower the age of Medicare eligibility, allowing early buy-in to Medicare.

Spork

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Re: 2017 ACA plan info now available
« Reply #62 on: November 02, 2016, 07:36:01 AM »
Thanks, Seatlecyclone! I guess I am just lucky to have the $; many are not.  It's a huge incentive to stay healthy as well ( for things under one person's control); we eat well, have always been normal weight, exercise, laugh.  It's the prices of hospitals/care/meds that should change.  No one can afford them.
But that was point of the tax credits.  My mom's ACA plan never exceeds 10% of her earned income.  Which makes it affordable.

Yes, but there is a cliff there at 400% FPL.

By my calculations:
* if our MAGI is $63k, my annual expense on a bronze plan is $6000.  9.5%
* if our MAGI is $64k, my annual expense on the same plan is $12,000.  18.75%
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Gin1984

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Re: 2017 ACA plan info now available
« Reply #63 on: November 02, 2016, 07:38:58 AM »
Thanks, Seatlecyclone! I guess I am just lucky to have the $; many are not.  It's a huge incentive to stay healthy as well ( for things under one person's control); we eat well, have always been normal weight, exercise, laugh.  It's the prices of hospitals/care/meds that should change.  No one can afford them.
But that was point of the tax credits.  My mom's ACA plan never exceeds 10% of her earned income.  Which makes it affordable.

Yes, but there is a cliff there at 400% FPL.

By my calculations:
* if our MAGI is $63k, my annual expense on a bronze plan is $6000.  9.5%
* if our MAGI is $64k, my annual expense on the same plan is $12,000.  18.75%
Just a heads up, 400% FPL for this year is $64,080 so $64000 should keep you under 10%.  When you say annual expenses are you including just premiums or total cost.

Spork

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Re: 2017 ACA plan info now available
« Reply #64 on: November 02, 2016, 07:59:52 AM »
Thanks, Seatlecyclone! I guess I am just lucky to have the $; many are not.  It's a huge incentive to stay healthy as well ( for things under one person's control); we eat well, have always been normal weight, exercise, laugh.  It's the prices of hospitals/care/meds that should change.  No one can afford them.
But that was point of the tax credits.  My mom's ACA plan never exceeds 10% of her earned income.  Which makes it affordable.

Yes, but there is a cliff there at 400% FPL.

By my calculations:
* if our MAGI is $63k, my annual expense on a bronze plan is $6000.  9.5%
* if our MAGI is $64k, my annual expense on the same plan is $12,000.  18.75%
Just a heads up, 400% FPL for this year is $64,080 so $64000 should keep you under 10%.  When you say annual expenses are you including just premiums or total cost.

Sorry... this was a spreadsheet and for simplicity I was truncating (not rounding) my numbers for both coverage and MAGI.  I believe my MAGI on my spreadsheet is actually $64,562.  (I basically was running numbers with a base amount of dividends/RMDs and then running it for +1000, +2000, ....)

My point was that I was guessing Penny Lane was complaining about being over the 400% cliff.
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jeffnhl

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Re: 2017 ACA plan info now available
« Reply #65 on: November 02, 2016, 08:41:54 AM »
Question:  I FIRE'd in June.  Currently on COBRA paying $1800/ month for family of 5.  I am eligible to stay on COBRA for a total of 18 months thru end of 2017.  I ws surprised when I did my ACA application yesterday that having this extremely expensive COBRA eligibility disqualifies my for any ACA premium subsidy for 2017!  Does that sound right ??


I'm not sure whether or not you can opt out of COBRA and into an ACA plan, but if you do have the option of staying on COBRA, be sure to carefully compare that with your ACA options. [jpa thread snip]


I'm in a similar situation, I resigned last week to RE though agreed to stay on part time (with full benefits) through the end of the year.  It is a bit of a pain using the healthcare.gov application during open enrollment not because of Cobra but because by default they look at last years income when offering next years subsidy despite asking what next years expected income will be.

You can switch to a subsidized plan during open enrollment or when Cobra ends you can go through a Special Enrollment Period.  The healthcare.gov application asks when your current coverage will end even if it is COBRA coverage.  As I understand it once you start Cobra ending it early does not qualify you for a Special Enrollment period so making the change during this open enrollment is key.

Are you sure you aren't seeing non-subsidy because of the expected income change?   

There are more in the healthcare faq but this link is pretty on point.
http://www.philly.com/philly/health/healthcare-exchange/faq/Does_COBRA_eligibility_disqualify_me_from_a_subsidy_on_an_exchange.html

http://obamacarefacts.com/questions/can-i-switch-from-cobra-to-obamacare/

https://www.verywell.com/cobra-obamacare-subsidy-1738953

https://www.verywell.com/can-you-get-obamacare-if-youve-been-offered-cobra-1738954

(edited to add two more links)
« Last Edit: November 02, 2016, 08:47:11 AM by jeffnhl »

seattlecyclone

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Re: 2017 ACA plan info now available
« Reply #66 on: November 02, 2016, 09:38:12 AM »
Adding in this link from healthcare.gov: https://www.healthcare.gov/unemployed/cobra-coverage/

If you're already on COBRA, you'll need to wait until open enrollment to switch to a marketplace plan. If you just quit your job and haven't made a COBRA election yet, you can instead elect a marketplace plan and have it subsidized as if you have no employer coverage available (since once you decline COBRA you don't have employer coverage available).
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soccerluvof4

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Re: 2017 ACA plan info now available
« Reply #67 on: November 02, 2016, 09:47:43 AM »
Thats what I need to do as well. My Cobra is through April 2017 and yes its too is much better than anything I seemingly will get on ACA. I remember when everyone was saying Cobra was so expensive. Not anymore and wouldnt need to switch doctors etc... It is time to come up with a Single payer plan. ACA has proven to be a joke. Nice try and at least that was a step but imho a bust.
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jeffnhl

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Re: 2017 ACA plan info now available
« Reply #68 on: November 02, 2016, 12:24:22 PM »
Thats what I need to do as well. My Cobra is through April 2017 and yes its too is much better than anything I seemingly will get on ACA. I remember when everyone was saying Cobra was so expensive. Not anymore and wouldnt need to switch doctors etc... It is time to come up with a Single payer plan. ACA has proven to be a joke. Nice try and at least that was a step but imho a bust.

I'd love single payer as well (having lived in Canada previously so I have some experience here).  That being said ACA has been great for us.  The marketplace plans I can choose from are as good or better than what my employer plan offered (and with the employer I only had 1 plan to choose from take it or leave it).  With-out the subsidy the premiums are almost identical, with the CSR my out of pocket is a lot lower now.  Plus with one son with significant medical needs he won't get ripped off or excluded from care from previous conditions.  I know in some areas the choices aren't as good but that is something that figured into our choice of where to live.  Of course your mileage may vary - just adding a voice of support here!

Threshkin

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Re: 2017 ACA plan info now available
« Reply #69 on: November 02, 2016, 02:04:58 PM »
Adding in this link from healthcare.gov: https://www.healthcare.gov/unemployed/cobra-coverage/

If you're already on COBRA, you'll need to wait until open enrollment to switch to a marketplace plan. If you just quit your job and haven't made a COBRA election yet, you can instead elect a marketplace plan and have it subsidized as if you have no employer coverage available (since once you decline COBRA you don't have employer coverage available).

This is VERY good to know.  I was fired to FIRE yesterday and was considering going COBRA to start just because it would be easier.  But I did not know that if I start COBRA I cannot move to the ACA marketplace until the next open enrollment.

Peter Gibbons

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Re: 2017 ACA plan info now available
« Reply #70 on: November 02, 2016, 02:09:32 PM »
Question:  I FIRE'd in June.  Currently on COBRA paying $1800/ month for family of 5.  I am eligible to stay on COBRA for a total of 18 months thru end of 2017.  I ws surprised when I did my ACA application yesterday that having this extremely expensive COBRA eligibility disqualifies my for any ACA premium subsidy for 2017!  Does that sound right ??


I'm not sure whether or not you can opt out of COBRA and into an ACA plan, but if you do have the option of staying on COBRA, be sure to carefully compare that with your ACA options. [jpa thread snip]

Jeffnhl,
Thanks for the great response and the links.  I made a couple of phone calls today and learned that I am allowed to voluntarily drop COBRA and start on an ACA plan and still receive the subsidy (which is pretty substantial since I am in FIRE and expect a pretty low income in 2017).  The advisor at BCBS that I spoke with explained it in a way that made sense to me:  "If you stop paying your COBRA premium in December 2016, then you will no longer eligible to have for COBRA in 2017 and therefor you are not eligible for employer provided health insurance in 2017".  That agrees with the article in your third link above.
Thanks again!  I feel a lot better this afternoon than I did this morning.
-Peter Gibbons


I'm in a similar situation, I resigned last week to RE though agreed to stay on part time (with full benefits) through the end of the year.  It is a bit of a pain using the healthcare.gov application during open enrollment not because of Cobra but because by default they look at last years income when offering next years subsidy despite asking what next years expected income will be.

You can switch to a subsidized plan during open enrollment or when Cobra ends you can go through a Special Enrollment Period.  The healthcare.gov application asks when your current coverage will end even if it is COBRA coverage.  As I understand it once you start Cobra ending it early does not qualify you for a Special Enrollment period so making the change during this open enrollment is key.

Are you sure you aren't seeing non-subsidy because of the expected income change?   

There are more in the healthcare faq but this link is pretty on point.
http://www.philly.com/philly/health/healthcare-exchange/faq/Does_COBRA_eligibility_disqualify_me_from_a_subsidy_on_an_exchange.html

http://obamacarefacts.com/questions/can-i-switch-from-cobra-to-obamacare/

https://www.verywell.com/cobra-obamacare-subsidy-1738953

https://www.verywell.com/can-you-get-obamacare-if-youve-been-offered-cobra-1738954

(edited to add two more links)

Spork

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Re: 2017 ACA plan info now available
« Reply #71 on: November 02, 2016, 02:12:33 PM »
Adding in this link from healthcare.gov: https://www.healthcare.gov/unemployed/cobra-coverage/

If you're already on COBRA, you'll need to wait until open enrollment to switch to a marketplace plan. If you just quit your job and haven't made a COBRA election yet, you can instead elect a marketplace plan and have it subsidized as if you have no employer coverage available (since once you decline COBRA you don't have employer coverage available).

This is VERY good to know.  I was fired to FIRE yesterday and was considering going COBRA to start just because it would be easier.  But I did not know that if I start COBRA I cannot move to the ACA marketplace until the next open enrollment.

Also... if you had coverage on Nov 1, it's extremely likely you're covered until Dec 1.  You might only have to purchase one month of marketplace before enrollment kicks in.  And for me: the marketplace insurance was about 1/2 of the COBRA I was offered... so I opted out of the COBRA.

I may be wrong here... but I also think COBRA has a 60 day opt in period...  In other words, I think you can "buy" it after the fact for 60 days.  So you may be covered outright until Dec 1.  Then you might have until the end of the year to elect if you want COBRA or not -- in a sense, "covered" if something turns out that you need it.
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BFGirl

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Re: 2017 ACA plan info now available
« Reply #72 on: November 02, 2016, 03:16:45 PM »
Just as a comparison to the ACA, my United Healthcare plan through my employer has gone up 17% for 2017.

Penny Lane

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Re: 2017 ACA plan info now available
« Reply #73 on: November 03, 2016, 06:35:35 AM »
Yes, the cliff.  Checked the AGI from last year-- 65,500.  Premiums next year=16,800.  OOPmax=14,200 ( 7100 each).  So we are talking $31,000?!?!

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Re: 2017 ACA plan info now available
« Reply #74 on: November 03, 2016, 02:56:00 PM »
Adding in this link from healthcare.gov: https://www.healthcare.gov/unemployed/cobra-coverage/

If you're already on COBRA, you'll need to wait until open enrollment to switch to a marketplace plan. If you just quit your job and haven't made a COBRA election yet, you can instead elect a marketplace plan and have it subsidized as if you have no employer coverage available (since once you decline COBRA you don't have employer coverage available).

This is VERY good to know.  I was fired to FIRE yesterday and was considering going COBRA to start just because it would be easier.  But I did not know that if I start COBRA I cannot move to the ACA marketplace until the next open enrollment.

Also... if you had coverage on Nov 1, it's extremely likely you're covered until Dec 1.  You might only have to purchase one month of marketplace before enrollment kicks in.  And for me: the marketplace insurance was about 1/2 of the COBRA I was offered... so I opted out of the COBRA.

I may be wrong here... but I also think COBRA has a 60 day opt in period...  In other words, I think you can "buy" it after the fact for 60 days.  So you may be covered outright until Dec 1.  Then you might have until the end of the year to elect if you want COBRA or not -- in a sense, "covered" if something turns out that you need it.

I can confirm this 60 day opt in preiod.  I just got my package and can apply for COBRA any time in the next 60 days and be retroactively covered.  They also included instructions for getting emergency coverage if I have a medical issue before I opt-in to COBRA.

jim555

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Re: 2017 ACA plan info now available
« Reply #75 on: November 03, 2016, 03:01:19 PM »
I did the 60 day COBRA free ride and went on an ACA policy when I FIREd.

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Re: 2017 ACA plan info now available
« Reply #76 on: November 03, 2016, 09:10:22 PM »
Just as a comparison to the ACA, my United Healthcare plan through my employer has gone up 17% for 2017.

Wow! My employer's BCBS plan for "retirees / those on disability" is going up 8% next year, an extra $60/mo. for me.

Reading this thread makes me think it must be great to be Canadian! Look at the researching and contortions we have to do to maintain basic health care coverage. This is NUTS!

SINGLE PAYER!

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Re: 2017 ACA plan info now available
« Reply #77 on: November 03, 2016, 11:24:02 PM »
My mom emailed me today all freaked out about the insurance renewal notice she received.  "My premiums will now be over $400 a month!"

I helped her set up a Silver plan two years ago and it was under $2/mo premium after subsidies.  This year was $0/mo.  After receiving her email I checked healthcare.gov and indeed the plan she's on now is going up an insane amount -- from $654.23 to $1058.04 -- but the subsidies will knock her premiums right back down to $0/mo.  Apparently the renewal notice just took the new amount, subtracted the old amount, and showed the difference as what she would owe.  It didn't adjust for subsidies...

Frankies Girl

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Re: 2017 ACA plan info now available
« Reply #78 on: November 04, 2016, 12:19:33 AM »
I got my current insurance packet and my premium will be going up 43%. WTF.

But the good news is, my household income is going WAY down now that husband is FIREd too. So subsidy is larger and we qualify for mega cost savings with the silver plan.

But that is still not enough to compensate for that much of an increase to stay with BCBS, so I got on there and started looking and found a closed network group offered through a different insurer that I actually used to belong to (and was upset about being booted off due to insurance changes at work about a decade ago). So I already know who my doctors will be, where their facilities are, and how good of a network they are (pretty good actually).

Sad about losing our current PCP, but don't love them enough to pay an extra $250/month to keep them considering.

And our new silver plan will basically act like a platinum plan - 87% coverage, zero deductibles, 4,700/group OOP/year, $15 copays, etc... wow. Slightly annoyed that it's a PPO, but I can deal with it for all of the better coverage/benefits. And it will be around $50 less a month than what we currently pay for our 2016 plan.

BUT the hangup is that after I completed out ACA application, they wanted proof of income. Because there is a large drop so I'm sure they're flagging it as suspicious since most folks don't lose over a third of their income year to year. So I did a letter explaining I don't work, husband laid off and unemployment ran out and will be living off of retirement funds. Sent our 2015 tax return and explained that the line 7 "wages, tips, etc" amount will be zero in 2017, and it shows we have ordinary/qualified dividends, LTCGs and a retirement distribution, so hoping that's going to satisfy them. Fingers and toes crossed and will go mumble some prays later.

I know I can end up losing my subsidy if they aren't happy, but will get it back when we file, but that will piss me off as we'll have to come up with an extra $450+ a month and not get it back til 2018 (is that right?) Yuck.



« Last Edit: November 04, 2016, 12:28:54 AM by Frankies Girl »
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Gin1984

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Re: 2017 ACA plan info now available
« Reply #79 on: November 04, 2016, 06:41:39 AM »
I got my current insurance packet and my premium will be going up 43%. WTF.

But the good news is, my household income is going WAY down now that husband is FIREd too. So subsidy is larger and we qualify for mega cost savings with the silver plan.

But that is still not enough to compensate for that much of an increase to stay with BCBS, so I got on there and started looking and found a closed network group offered through a different insurer that I actually used to belong to (and was upset about being booted off due to insurance changes at work about a decade ago). So I already know who my doctors will be, where their facilities are, and how good of a network they are (pretty good actually).

Sad about losing our current PCP, but don't love them enough to pay an extra $250/month to keep them considering.

And our new silver plan will basically act like a platinum plan - 87% coverage, zero deductibles, 4,700/group OOP/year, $15 copays, etc... wow. Slightly annoyed that it's a PPO, but I can deal with it for all of the better coverage/benefits. And it will be around $50 less a month than what we currently pay for our 2016 plan.

BUT the hangup is that after I completed out ACA application, they wanted proof of income. Because there is a large drop so I'm sure they're flagging it as suspicious since most folks don't lose over a third of their income year to year. So I did a letter explaining I don't work, husband laid off and unemployment ran out and will be living off of retirement funds. Sent our 2015 tax return and explained that the line 7 "wages, tips, etc" amount will be zero in 2017, and it shows we have ordinary/qualified dividends, LTCGs and a retirement distribution, so hoping that's going to satisfy them. Fingers and toes crossed and will go mumble some prays later.

I know I can end up losing my subsidy if they aren't happy, but will get it back when we file, but that will piss me off as we'll have to come up with an extra $450+ a month and not get it back til 2018 (is that right?) Yuck.
That was what my mom did and though she needed to have a conversation with someone from covered California it went through with no issue.  I think it depends on your state. 

DavidAnnArbor

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Re: 2017 ACA plan info now available
« Reply #80 on: November 04, 2016, 07:02:12 AM »

BUT the hangup is that after I completed out ACA application, they wanted proof of income.

I had to do this for the 2016 year because my income dropped as a result of increasing savings into a 401k.
Now for 2017 I will have the same issue again because on top of the 401k I will be saving yet more into a traditional ira.
What I did was send a letter on the health care marketplace website about what my estimated income would be, and in fact I sent them my 2015 tax return to bolster my case.

Because the enrollment period is earlier this time, I won't have a 2016 tax return to bolster my case for 2017.

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Re: 2017 ACA plan info now available
« Reply #81 on: November 04, 2016, 07:30:27 AM »

BUT the hangup is that after I completed out ACA application, they wanted proof of income. Because there is a large drop so I'm sure they're flagging it as suspicious since most folks don't lose over a third of their income year to year. So I did a letter explaining I don't work, husband laid off and unemployment ran out and will be living off of retirement funds. Sent our 2015 tax return and explained that the line 7 "wages, tips, etc" amount will be zero in 2017, and it shows we have ordinary/qualified dividends, LTCGs and a retirement distribution, so hoping that's going to satisfy them. Fingers and toes crossed and will go mumble some prays later.

I know I can end up losing my subsidy if they aren't happy, but will get it back when we file, but that will piss me off as we'll have to come up with an extra $450+ a month and not get it back til 2018 (is that right?) Yuck.

This was my fate last year.  It went something like this:
1. They ask for more data in a vague manner (not saying what they want)
2. I upload more data and an explanation letter.
3. Repeat 1 and 2 multiple times.
4. Call them... talk to someone in a call center that only understands "send in your tax return from last year"... and doesn't understand how ACA works or how there might be a year that is different from the previous.  I send in the return, not expecting it to change anything.
5. Repeat 1 and 2 multiple times.
6. Sigh.  Accept that I won't get subsidy and will get it on tax refund.
7. Multiple letters: Your subsidy will end! DO SOMETHING NOW!
8. A quiet one page letter that came a month after subsidies were supposed to end stating "your subsidy will continue".  No explanation.  But it did.
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homestead neohio

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Re: 2017 ACA plan info now available
« Reply #82 on: November 04, 2016, 08:00:10 AM »
Very surprised to hear some have a better deal on COBRA than ACA.  I will be going off of my employer plan at the end of 2017 and am contemplating an end to full-time employment then, but healthcare is the big scary unknown. 

In an attempt to forecast what I'll be looking at in 2018 when I have to make this leap, I compared 2017 ACA plans vs. 2017 COBRA HDHP HSA plan costs and (drumroll, please) the COBRA plan was significantly more expensive, even without subsidies.  COBRA for HSA HDHP for family of 4 was just over $1500/mo and ACA has 2017 plans for ~$750/mo.  Deductibles are higher, but OOP Max is similar.  We are used to paying our way and only looking for catastrophic coverage and for 1/2 price premiums we'd accept higher deductibles in a heartbeat.

Does anyone know how to see which plans are HSA compatible on healthcare.gov?  I suspect the silver plan I quoted above may not be, and am wondering what an HSA compatible one would cost as that would be ideal for me, at least for one transition year.

Paul der Krake

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Re: 2017 ACA plan info now available
« Reply #83 on: November 04, 2016, 08:06:24 AM »
Very surprised to hear some have a better deal on COBRA than ACA.  I will be going off of my employer plan at the end of 2017 and am contemplating an end to full-time employment then, but healthcare is the big scary unknown. 
Speculation: if you worked for an employer whose employees were on average very young and healthy, say at a startup, then it would make sense that the COBRA price of the negotiated group plan would be lower. The ACA plan that doesn't have the luxury of only drawing from a pool of cheap young people.

Spork

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Re: 2017 ACA plan info now available
« Reply #84 on: November 04, 2016, 08:31:22 AM »
Very surprised to hear some have a better deal on COBRA than ACA.  I will be going off of my employer plan at the end of 2017 and am contemplating an end to full-time employment then, but healthcare is the big scary unknown. 
Speculation: if you worked for an employer whose employees were on average very young and healthy, say at a startup, then it would make sense that the COBRA price of the negotiated group plan would be lower. The ACA plan that doesn't have the luxury of only drawing from a pool of cheap young people.

I am still surprised...  Because COBRA (in my experience) is usually a gold/platinum type plan.  It's hard to compare the cost of that to a high deductible bronze plan -- even if they use a comparable cost calculation.
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geekette

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Re: 2017 ACA plan info now available
« Reply #85 on: November 04, 2016, 08:54:40 AM »
I know I can end up losing my subsidy if they aren't happy, but will get it back when we file, but that will piss me off as we'll have to come up with an extra $450+ a month and not get it back til 2018 (is that right?) Yuck.
If your insurance company accepts credit card payment and you like to travel hack - score!

Gin1984

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Re: 2017 ACA plan info now available
« Reply #86 on: November 04, 2016, 09:42:34 AM »
Very surprised to hear some have a better deal on COBRA than ACA.  I will be going off of my employer plan at the end of 2017 and am contemplating an end to full-time employment then, but healthcare is the big scary unknown. 
Speculation: if you worked for an employer whose employees were on average very young and healthy, say at a startup, then it would make sense that the COBRA price of the negotiated group plan would be lower. The ACA plan that doesn't have the luxury of only drawing from a pool of cheap young people.

I am still surprised...  Because COBRA (in my experience) is usually a gold/platinum type plan.  It's hard to compare the cost of that to a high deductible bronze plan -- even if they use a comparable cost calculation.
I had one, but it was only for graduate students employees, it was a decent PPO but the majority of the people on it were young and the unhealthy ones often stayed on mom and dad's because it was not a gold/platinum type plan.  It was $650, my current insurance has a COBRA of $1500.  The funny part is I have a HSA compliant plan about would consider the grad plan as good as if not better my current plan. 

Gretamom

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Re: 2017 ACA plan info now available
« Reply #87 on: November 04, 2016, 04:54:31 PM »
I agree Obamacare is a joke. In Wisconsin, where I live, it is really bad. We were not able to renew our last insurance as of June 1, 2016 so we went to see an insurance broker. We did not qualify for any subsidies & the best plan we could get for two non-smoking 40 year old adults and three kids was $1850 a month with $10,000 family deductible.  Of course this doesn't include dental, vision, or any prescriptions. We would have to shell out $32,200 a year before we met the deductible. This was before the increase which I have heard in our state is about 22% (the same plan is probably about $2250 with the increase) It's completely crazy & out of control.

At what point do people just take the penalty? 

Luckily, my husband got a second job at the hospital working only 16 hours a week and they offer health insurance to their part-time employees.

Frankies Girl

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Re: 2017 ACA plan info now available
« Reply #88 on: November 04, 2016, 05:00:57 PM »
I know I can end up losing my subsidy if they aren't happy, but will get it back when we file, but that will piss me off as we'll have to come up with an extra $450+ a month and not get it back til 2018 (is that right?) Yuck.
If your insurance company accepts credit card payment and you like to travel hack - score!


That's a good point. And yes, they do allow credit card payments. So tiny sliver of good news there if I do end up paying full price.
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Mr. Green

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Re: 2017 ACA plan info now available
« Reply #89 on: November 04, 2016, 05:31:37 PM »
I know I can end up losing my subsidy if they aren't happy, but will get it back when we file, but that will piss me off as we'll have to come up with an extra $450+ a month and not get it back til 2018 (is that right?) Yuck.
If your insurance company accepts credit card payment and you like to travel hack - score!


That's a good point. And yes, they do allow credit card payments. So tiny sliver of good news there if I do end up paying full price.
If you don't mind paying the full price up front this would be a great way to manufacture a good bit of spending, then you'd get it all back at the end of the year when taxes are filed.
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Gin1984

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Re: 2017 ACA plan info now available
« Reply #90 on: November 04, 2016, 05:39:13 PM »
My mom emailed me today all freaked out about the insurance renewal notice she received.  "My premiums will now be over $400 a month!"

I helped her set up a Silver plan two years ago and it was under $2/mo premium after subsidies.  This year was $0/mo.  After receiving her email I checked healthcare.gov and indeed the plan she's on now is going up an insane amount -- from $654.23 to $1058.04 -- but the subsidies will knock her premiums right back down to $0/mo.  Apparently the renewal notice just took the new amount, subtracted the old amount, and showed the difference as what she would owe.  It didn't adjust for subsidies...
My mom's did the same and she did not believe me that it would stay at the amount I helped her chose.  Even though I worked her through the math last year and the woman used to negotiate contracts for a living including health insurance and pension plans.  I think she is losing it, sigh.

Gin1984

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Re: 2017 ACA plan info now available
« Reply #91 on: November 04, 2016, 05:41:38 PM »
I agree Obamacare is a joke. In Wisconsin, where I live, it is really bad. We were not able to renew our last insurance as of June 1, 2016 so we went to see an insurance broker. We did not qualify for any subsidies & the best plan we could get for two non-smoking 40 year old adults and three kids was $1850 a month with $10,000 family deductible.  Of course this doesn't include dental, vision, or any prescriptions. We would have to shell out $32,200 a year before we met the deductible. This was before the increase which I have heard in our state is about 22% (the same plan is probably about $2250 with the increase) It's completely crazy & out of control.

At what point do people just take the penalty? 

Luckily, my husband got a second job at the hospital working only 16 hours a week and they offer health insurance to their part-time employees.
Why would you go to a broker when NONE of their plans are eligible for subsidies and you can compare all the plans on one site easily.

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Re: 2017 ACA plan info now available
« Reply #92 on: November 04, 2016, 06:11:03 PM »
I agree Obamacare is a joke. In Wisconsin, where I live, it is really bad. We were not able to renew our last insurance as of June 1, 2016 so we went to see an insurance broker. We did not qualify for any subsidies & the best plan we could get for two non-smoking 40 year old adults and three kids was $1850 a month with $10,000 family deductible.  Of course this doesn't include dental, vision, or any prescriptions. We would have to shell out $32,200 a year before we met the deductible. This was before the increase which I have heard in our state is about 22% (the same plan is probably about $2250 with the increase) It's completely crazy & out of control.

At what point do people just take the penalty? 

Luckily, my husband got a second job at the hospital working only 16 hours a week and they offer health insurance to their part-time employees.
Why would you go to a broker when NONE of their plans are eligible for subsidies and you can compare all the plans on one site easily.

In my case because we're not subsidy eligible (family glitch, yay) and at this point I'm not sure that all the plans on the market place are actually all the plans that would be useful to us and ACA compliant. But I've had no luck every time I ask about health insurance brokers and I'm leery of just finding one through Google.
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Will this matter in ten years?

DavidAnnArbor

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Re: 2017 ACA plan info now available
« Reply #93 on: November 04, 2016, 06:24:53 PM »
I know I can end up losing my subsidy if they aren't happy, but will get it back when we file, but that will piss me off as we'll have to come up with an extra $450+ a month and not get it back til 2018 (is that right?) Yuck.
If your insurance company accepts credit card payment and you like to travel hack - score!


That's a good point. And yes, they do allow credit card payments. So tiny sliver of good news there if I do end up paying full price.
If you don't mind paying the full price up front this would be a great way to manufacture a good bit of spending, then you'd get it all back at the end of the year when taxes are filed.

Good idea. I do have a 2% cash back credit card.

Jammu

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Re: 2017 ACA plan info now available
« Reply #94 on: November 04, 2016, 08:58:45 PM »
Washington

2015 - Bronze HSA 680 per month. No subsidy.  45/55 yrs old
2016 - Bronze HSA 860 per month. No subsidy.  46/56 yrs old
2017 - Bronze HSA 1003 per month.  No subsidy.  47/57 yrs old.

This was for a Premera BCBS PPO plan.

We will switch to a Bronze HMO for 771 per month. We only do flu shot and prevention anyway.

Deductibles in the new plan are breathtaking. Over 7k each. 14k max oop.

But with the HSA we can weather a diagnosis or two. But something needs to change with this to make it more affordable.  Taxes are my #1 expense. This is second.

jim555

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Re: 2017 ACA plan info now available
« Reply #95 on: November 05, 2016, 06:18:23 AM »
I know I can end up losing my subsidy if they aren't happy, but will get it back when we file, but that will piss me off as we'll have to come up with an extra $450+ a month and not get it back til 2018 (is that right?) Yuck.
Why can't you get them to apply it monthly to reduce the bill?

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Re: 2017 ACA plan info now available
« Reply #96 on: November 05, 2016, 07:23:03 AM »
I know I can end up losing my subsidy if they aren't happy, but will get it back when we file, but that will piss me off as we'll have to come up with an extra $450+ a month and not get it back til 2018 (is that right?) Yuck.
Why can't you get them to apply it monthly to reduce the bill?

It is REALLY hard in the first (and possibly second) year of FIRE to get the healthcare.gov people to understand.  They look at last year's 1040 and say "you don't qualify".  You can give them all the documentation in the world (amount of dividends last year, letter from employer saying you retired, balances of IRAs that will be converted to Roth to create taxable income, etc) ... but we just don't fit the mold.  They're trained to a very narrow (and more common) path. 
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Frankies Girl

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Re: 2017 ACA plan info now available
« Reply #97 on: November 05, 2016, 07:30:20 AM »
I know I can end up losing my subsidy if they aren't happy, but will get it back when we file, but that will piss me off as we'll have to come up with an extra $450+ a month and not get it back til 2018 (is that right?) Yuck.
Why can't you get them to apply it monthly to reduce the bill?

What Spork said.

 Because the large drop in estimated income triggered the ask for proof of income. Exactly how do you prove no income? There are no forms for that. Only thing I can say is "not working, and this is an estimate " and hope they count that as good enouh to approve my subsidy now.

If not, I have to wait until I file my taxes and actually have the income estimate proved true... which means no monthy subsidy.
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Paul der Krake

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Re: 2017 ACA plan info now available
« Reply #98 on: November 05, 2016, 08:03:27 AM »
It might be worth it to structure your last year of work specifically to get near the desired income level while utilizing the employer's insurance.

Part-time, sabbaticals, etc.

jim555

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Re: 2017 ACA plan info now available
« Reply #99 on: November 05, 2016, 08:27:16 AM »
I never had a problem with income drops and subsidies.  Good thing my state has its own web site.