Author Topic: ACA policies and non-dependent children under 26  (Read 1390 times)

Monkey Uncle

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ACA policies and non-dependent children under 26
« on: September 02, 2017, 04:20:36 AM »
I'm planning to FIRE c. January 2018, if I'm reasonably confident at that time that the ACA isn't going to be killed.  DS will still have a little over a year that he can remain on our health insurance, so I'm thinking of taking him with us onto our ACA policy.  However, the last time I ran through a mock sign-up on healthcare.gov, they only asked about dependents that we're claiming on our tax return.  He lives on his own and supports himself, so obviously we do not claim him as a dependent on our tax return.

Has anyone signed up their non-dependent 20-something child on their ACA policy?  How does that work?

teen persuasion

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Re: ACA policies and non-dependent children under 26
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2017, 08:04:18 AM »
We faced this in 2014 when DH was between jobs.  We never actually got the college kid signed up, we had enough problems with getting the rest of us signed up.  What we were told, take it with a large grain of salt, was that after we signed up with any dependent kids, then the non-dependent ones had to sign up on their own, and they would be linked to us.  I never quite learned how their coverage got linked to ours, but that was the implication.  We were covering a short window, a few months and we were back on a new employer plan.  The whole "ACA looks at annual income" vs "Medicaid looks at monthly income" meant we were shunted to Medicaid while DH was technically earning nothing, despite annual income appropriate for ACA subsidies.

If/when we attempt to use the ACA for health insurance again, I will find a facilitator to walk us thru the minefield that is NYStateOfHealth.  At least in 2014, online you could not make any changes or corrections during the application process, or you were locked up and told to call and go thru a phone rep.  Phone reps varied in their understanding of the process, and in their competence.  One that was competent tried to fix our application, unlock it so we could continue online, and tried to walk us thru doing it ourselves, but our side of the interface didn't match what she told us should be there.  She ultimately had to input info for us as we literally could not get to the screens.  Hopefully NY has improved the website, or you get to use the federal one.

Sorry I can't be more helpful.

Monkey Uncle

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Re: ACA policies and non-dependent children under 26
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2017, 09:10:54 AM »
Hmmm...sounds like lots of opportunities for something to get screwed up.

GillyMack

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Re: ACA policies and non-dependent children under 26
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2017, 08:08:41 PM »
In this situation, we just got our non-dependent young adult son an individual ACA policy of his own.  It was much cheaper than ours because of his age.  There was no link to our account. It all worked out well.

Monkey Uncle

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Re: ACA policies and non-dependent children under 26
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2017, 04:35:39 AM »
In this situation, we just got our non-dependent young adult son an individual ACA policy of his own.  It was much cheaper than ours because of his age.  There was no link to our account. It all worked out well.

Did you try to do a cost comparison between separate policies vs. linking them?  I've been playing around with the price estimator on healthcare.gov, but I don't see a way to estimate linked costs.

GillyMack

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Re: ACA policies and non-dependent children under 26
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2017, 03:04:58 PM »
I didn't know about linking at the time, so we never checked into it.  But earlier, when he was living at home and inbetween jobs (so maybe eligible to be a dependent), it was just a tad more for him to have his own ACA policy instead of being combined with us parents on our ACA policy.  We went with the independent for him for flexibility - if he moved away, got a job with benefits or whatever path he took, it would affect only his policy.  And we've kept it the same way since.  Us middle age folks are paying pretty big bucks for our ACA policy.  His has been as little as $140 per month (without subsidy and with a pretty high deductible).  YMMV, of course.