Author Topic: ACA -- resources for learning and estimating  (Read 3846 times)

Secretly Saving

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ACA -- resources for learning and estimating
« on: February 22, 2015, 09:31:53 AM »
I have to admit that we haven't been following the ACA very closely because we currently have great healthcare through an employer.  As we get closer and closer to considering FIRE I have realized that I need to learn more about ACA in order to effectively calculate and understand our healthcare position.  We're in our 30s and have two elementary aged children. 

So, my question is:  What are your ACA go to sites?  I'm interested in learning more and calculating estimates.   
« Last Edit: February 22, 2015, 07:41:23 PM by Secretly Saving »

Roots&Wings

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Re: ACA -- resources for learning and estimating
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2015, 10:09:17 AM »

Mutton Chop

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Re: ACA -- resources for learning and estimating
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2015, 10:47:34 AM »
I would sit down with two different well respected insurance agents in your area to get the full picture.


JetsettingWelfareMom

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Re: ACA -- resources for learning and estimating
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2015, 12:15:30 PM »
One of my biggest criticisms of ACA is the calculators are based on income only as opposed to your family's individual healthcare needs. Some kids go to the doctor every other week for asthma and allergies, others don't need to visit. Ditto for adults....it's supposed to help people with preexisting conditions while punishing healthy folks relatively speaking, but the insurers have made it so complicated it's hard to figure out what's covered and not....Good luck!

Greystache

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Re: ACA -- resources for learning and estimating
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2015, 06:37:19 PM »
Beware of the ACA cliff.  If you qualify for subsidies, you will need to manage your MAGI.  If you go one dollar over the income limit, you can see your premiums more than double.

forummm

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Re: ACA -- resources for learning and estimating
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2015, 12:04:28 PM »
Beware of the ACA cliff.  If you qualify for subsidies, you will need to manage your MAGI.  If you go one dollar over the income limit, you can see your premiums more than double.

That's unlikely. The tax credits decline with income, and are still in effect through 400% of FPL.

Eric

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Re: ACA -- resources for learning and estimating
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2015, 12:24:04 PM »
One of my biggest criticisms of ACA is the calculators are based on income only as opposed to your family's individual healthcare needs. Some kids go to the doctor every other week for asthma and allergies, others don't need to visit. Ditto for adults....it's supposed to help people with preexisting conditions while punishing healthy folks relatively speaking, but the insurers have made it so complicated it's hard to figure out what's covered and not....Good luck!

I think that's a little beyond the scope of a calculator.  The calculators determine your premiums based on your income, location, family size, age, and plan choice.  It's up to you to figure out the best plan that fits your needs, and no calculator is going to be able to do that for you.

I also like the Kaiser calculator that step-in-time linked above.

iris lily

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Re: ACA -- resources for learning and estimating
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2015, 01:00:15 PM »
Beware of the ACA cliff.  If you qualify for subsidies, you will need to manage your MAGI.  If you go one dollar over the income limit, you can see your premiums more than double.

That's unlikely. The tax credits decline with income, and are still in effect through 400% of FPL.

I found there to be a cliff for 2 adults at $62,000 annual income or MAGI, which ever it is.

My problem is that I don't know what counts as MAGI. Does Social Security income count? Does "unearned" income from investments count?

That's why I am jumping ship in a few weeks and am taking COBRA for 18 months, and during that time we will figure out the best angle for ACA. And that assumes it is still in place. Those wascally wepublicans are trying to gut it.  :)

dandarc

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Re: ACA -- resources for learning and estimating
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2015, 01:14:11 PM »
http://laborcenter.berkeley.edu/pdf/2013/MAGI_summary13.pdf

It definitely adds a layer of complexity to the game that is FIRE.

eostache

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Re: ACA -- resources for learning and estimating
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2015, 02:25:57 PM »
I had to calculate the tax penalty for only having insurance part of the year. Form 8965, Shared Responsibility.
I calculated it by hand in the workbook. then I found this calculator on this website. We both came out with the same number.

http://artist911.com/shared-responsibility-payment-calculator-step-2

iris lily

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Re: ACA -- resources for learning and estimating
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2015, 08:59:41 PM »
http://laborcenter.berkeley.edu/pdf/2013/MAGI_summary13.pdf

It definitely adds a layer of complexity to the game that is FIRE.

Oh thanks, I have bookmarked that in the past, I just can never remember offhand if Social Security income counts. We won't have that income for a while, but I can tell you that the MAGI number will be something that we look at in deciding when and how much Social Security benefit to take.

Secretly Saving

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Re: ACA -- resources for learning and estimating
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2015, 09:09:33 PM »
Thanks everyone, for the links.  I appreciate you taking the time post!

dandarc

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Re: ACA -- resources for learning and estimating
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2015, 07:29:30 AM »
http://laborcenter.berkeley.edu/pdf/2013/MAGI_summary13.pdf

It definitely adds a layer of complexity to the game that is FIRE.

Oh thanks, I have bookmarked that in the past, I just can never remember offhand if Social Security income counts. We won't have that income for a while, but I can tell you that the MAGI number will be something that we look at in deciding when and how much Social Security benefit to take.
+1 - also if you retire early enough, this could have a large impact on your withdrawal strategy - 20K magi vs. 65K magi could have no impact on your taxes (if the 45 K was long-term capital gains, for example), but could cost you 6 or 7K in subsidies (ran some excursions for my wife and I).