Author Topic: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance  (Read 25387 times)

Jesus Christ

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I am a 33 yr old contract worker making 60k/yr and willing to roll the dice and opt out of healthcare insurance in 2015 to further increase my stash. What are some easy loop holes to avoid paying the penalty. I heard you can go delinquent on a utility bill or join an Indian tribe?
« Last Edit: December 20, 2014, 05:38:13 PM by Jesus Christ »

MoneyCat

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Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2014, 03:57:37 PM »
Opting out of health insurance is just about the dumbest idea I have ever heard of.  Don't gamble with your health. 

ysette9

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Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2014, 04:08:00 PM »
I have to agree with the poster above. 33 was the first year that I consumed a lot of medical care and I spent this year thanking my lucky stars for the great coverage I have. Of course you can't predict when you might need health coverage, but that is the whole point of having insurance. Why risk your net worth (presuming you are >$0) to save a relatively small amount of money?

iris lily

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Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2014, 04:11:35 PM »
oh, this should be good. Sitting back with popcorn.

Lynski

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Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2014, 04:13:12 PM »
Agreed with the two above, especially as you are a contract worker. Being out of work plus medical bills on top of it would not be a good combo.

Lynski

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Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2014, 04:14:59 PM »
Could you pass the popcorn please, Iris? :)

gaspony

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Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2014, 04:20:34 PM »
You could join a health care sharing group and get really low premiums on major medical care only and be exempt from the ACA penalty. 
From your user name you would fit in well with this one: :)

https://mychristiancare.org

But I'm sure you could find one that fits with your political or religious views. 

I think I looked into the medishare one and it was be like $50 a month for major high deductible for a single guy. Only drawback is you have to live a biblically based lifestyle for that one so no drugs or STD coverage. 

I'm sure there are muslim ones and Buddhist ones and maybe others. 

TerriM

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Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2014, 04:30:43 PM »
Hope you're not biking to work :P


Seriously, at least get some sort of catastrophic health care plan unless you're a multimillionaire (insurance is about what you can't afford to pay for right?).    A lot of healthy people come down with random very expensive stuff.  Knowing what I know now about things like tethered cord and testicular cancers, something unusual could happen to you anytime even age 33.   Unless you've been through the Astronaut medical exam in the last year and had someone go over every inch of your body in and out AND plan to live in a bubble, I'd get the insurance.

TerriM

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Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2014, 04:32:17 PM »
PS:  Since you're self-employed, you get a pretty hefty tax deduction on the health care.  How much would you really be out at the end of the year?

Another Reader

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Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2014, 04:41:17 PM »
Have you checked the cost of the least expensive plans in your state?  You probably don't qualify for an exemption for catastrophic care.  However, if you are maxing out a 401k, you should qualify for a subsidy.  More of one, if your AGI will allow you to make a traditional IRA contribution.  Why don't you play with the numbers and post them?  You will have to have some "life event" to qualify at this point because it's after the enrollment deadline, but it's still worth knowing the options.

GreenPen

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Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2014, 04:47:15 PM »
You could join a health care sharing group and get really low premiums on major medical care only and be exempt from the ACA penalty. 
From your user name you would fit in well with this one: :)

https://mychristiancare.org

But I'm sure you could find one that fits with your political or religious views. 

I think I looked into the medishare one and it was be like $50 a month for major high deductible for a single guy. Only drawback is you have to live a biblically based lifestyle for that one so no drugs or STD coverage. 

I'm sure there are muslim ones and Buddhist ones and maybe others.

Before the ACA was passed, my wife and I tried joining one of these christian bill-sharing groups as an alternative to typical insurance. They denied us because of a very minor preexisting condition.

Jesus Christ

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Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2014, 05:09:01 PM »
Thanks for the information and people caring about my health. Some more details.

The Consultant Company I work for offered me this:

$6,350 deductible health insurance plan with one wellness check up for  $242 per month ($2,908/yr)

The healthcare.gov market place has the cheapest option at $248 per month ($3,048/yr) for a similar high deductible plan ($6,350).

So if I pay the estimated penalty of $1,030. I would be saving $1,878 by not having health insurance. (even more if I find a loop hole)
« Last Edit: December 20, 2014, 06:17:44 PM by Jesus Christ »

Another Reader

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Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2014, 05:15:13 PM »
What income are you using in the calculation?  If you gross $60k and max out your 401k for 2015, your AGI should drop to $42k for that alone.  Calculate the AGI that you think you will have and plug that number in.

Jesus Christ

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Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2014, 05:47:12 PM »
What income are you using in the calculation?  If you gross $60k and max out your 401k for 2015, your AGI should drop to $42k for that alone.  Calculate the AGI that you think you will have and plug that number in.

Thanks "Another Reader" If I max out my  401k, my income will drop to $42,000 and my penalty for 2015 would be $632 instead of $1,030.

I guess another option would be to sign up for obamacare before the deadline on March 31st. So having health care for 9 months of the year would cost me $2,232 per year.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2014, 05:49:45 PM by Jesus Christ »

Another Reader

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Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2014, 05:58:25 PM »
If your employer offers health insurance, you probably don't qualify for the subsidy anyway. 

The deadline to sign up was December 15th.  Where do you get March 31st?  Is this because you are allowed three months in a calendar year without coverage?  I don't think it works that way.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
« Reply #15 on: December 20, 2014, 06:13:55 PM »
Wait wait wait... The son of god can get sick?

Exflyboy

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Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2014, 07:08:45 PM »
What income are you using in the calculation?  If you gross $60k and max out your 401k for 2015, your AGI should drop to $42k for that alone.  Calculate the AGI that you think you will have and plug that number in.

Hold on... I though the ACA was based on MAGI.. isn't that like close to what your gross income is??

Frank

Kriegsspiel

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Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
« Reply #17 on: December 20, 2014, 07:22:06 PM »
You recommending the 3 MAGI plan for Jesus? It comes with 100% copay on frankinsence and myrrh.

Another Reader

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Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
« Reply #18 on: December 20, 2014, 07:35:01 PM »
Yes, it's MAGI, but it's calculated differently than for income tax.  For most people, AGI and MAGI are not that different.  According to the KFF website, the penalty is based on taxable income.  All the deductions and exemptions come out before the penalty is calculated per KFF.  In addition to the premium subsidies, there is cost sharing for the lower income groups that are above the FPL.  If you can get your MAGI down enough, you can get heavily subsidized insurance.

None of the subsidy calculations apply to the OP because his employer offers health insurance.  He is not eligible for subsidies or cost sharing.  If he decides to forego insurance, the penalty for 2015 will be no more that 2 percent of his taxable income or $325.  Unless the rules are changed, the IRS cannot collect the penalty, it can only withhold it a refund.

BTW, at age 33 JC may need the insurance......

Avidconsumer

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Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
« Reply #19 on: December 20, 2014, 08:43:36 PM »
Statistically insurance is a bad idea...I bet most people on this forum would be financially better off without it, and for those who have actually used it. How much money have you actually saved after all those years you paid? Food for thought...

iris lily

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Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
« Reply #20 on: December 20, 2014, 10:50:01 PM »
You recommending the 3 MAGI plan for Jesus? It comes with 100% copay on frankinsence and myrrh.

oh, this was a good one! More buttered popcorn, please.

arebelspy

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Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
« Reply #21 on: December 20, 2014, 10:54:35 PM »
Wait wait wait... The son of god can get sick?

He can heal himself from leprosy, but the common cold is a bitch.

You can see why he'd try to skate by without insurance though - in the worst case scenario he can rise again three days later.
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TerriM

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Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
« Reply #22 on: December 20, 2014, 11:22:06 PM »
Statistically insurance is a bad idea...I bet most people on this forum would be financially better off without it, and for those who have actually used it. How much money have you actually saved after all those years you paid? Food for thought...

Interesting question....

3 v-births where one online site claims they average $18,329.
1 infant spinal surgery @$20K plus 8? MRIs @2K each=$36K
Some tests and stuff for my husband, let's say $10K max

Otherwise more or less healthy (yay).

Total $54K.

Guessing 2K for 10 years, 6K for 10 years, 5 years of $15K (including employer contributions?)
=$155K

Interesting.... 

Exflyboy

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Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
« Reply #23 on: December 20, 2014, 11:38:28 PM »
well.. the problem is health problems can be very random.

Case in point, two weeks ago a very good friend of mine died from Cancer at 28 years old, had every desperate (and expensive) treatment available.. Left a financially destitute Wife and two baby Daughters with a boatload of debt.

Your mileage may very but sometimes shit happens.

Frank

TerriM

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Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
« Reply #24 on: December 20, 2014, 11:41:20 PM »
well.. the problem is health problems can be very random.

Case in point, two weeks ago a very good friend of mine died from Cancer at 28 years old, had every desperate (and expensive) treatment available.. Left a financially destitute Wife and two baby Daughters with a boatload of debt.

Your mileage may very but sometimes shit happens.

Frank

:(((  Ouch.   What kind of cancer?

We have a friend who is maybe 40 who has brain cancer.  And we know another family with a 10 year old who had cancer.

Honestly, I don't mind coming out behind.  I figure I'm supporting them.  I'd rather support them than get my money back having the problems myself.

Exflyboy

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Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
« Reply #25 on: December 20, 2014, 11:42:48 PM »
It was stage 4 when it was diagnosed.. in other words it was everywhere.

Totally sucks..:(

geekette

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Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
« Reply #26 on: December 20, 2014, 11:48:41 PM »
I've gotten diddly squat for all those years paying on insurance for our house.  Any year I don't come out ahead is a good year.

My nephew, though, got great return on his parent's insurance costs for his brain tumor (age 18).  Now with the ACA, he can no longer be denied insurance and doesn't have to work for a large employer.  That allowed him to start a foundation to help kids with cancer, and fund children's cancer research.  I believe they're closing in on raising (and distributing) a million dollars in the two years since it started.

</broken record due to being a proud aunt>

CanuckExpat

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Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
« Reply #27 on: December 21, 2014, 01:19:01 AM »
What are some easy loop holes to avoid paying the penalty. I heard you can go delinquent on a utility bill or join an Indian tribe?

I thought you might be kidding about the Indian tribe thing, but maybe not (I get the feeling that site might be biased... )

Anyways, if you want to avoid the penalty, some of the hardship exemptions seem pretty broad and vague, so I think that would be your way to go:




UnleashHell

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Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
« Reply #28 on: December 21, 2014, 05:24:53 AM »
I was 37 when I got my appendix out. Hadn't had a medical bill for years.
total charges from diagnosis to discharge from hospital (24 hours) was $20,000.

good luck with avoiding something like that. I think this is something that is more than a financial risk.


and this is exactly why we should have a complete healthcare service - paid by all at income source...

Adventine

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Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
« Reply #29 on: December 21, 2014, 05:34:38 AM »



BTW, at age 33 JC may need the insurance......

Best laugh I've had all day!

chasesfish

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Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
« Reply #30 on: December 21, 2014, 07:20:28 AM »
You should probably get heath insurance, but if you don't want to, the best way to avoid the penalty is to stop paying your electricity bill until you get a shutoff notice, then go and catch it back up.  You can then qualify for a hardship exemption.  You can also claim you were a victim of domestic violence, but I think the shut-off notice is easier to qualify for:

https://www.healthcare.gov/fees-exemptions/hardship-exemptions/

Davids

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Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
« Reply #31 on: December 21, 2014, 08:48:52 AM »
Couldn't you get your AGI low enough where you can qualify for subsidies and have health insurance for almost nothing.

TerriM

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Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
« Reply #32 on: December 21, 2014, 09:54:24 AM »
BTW, at age 33 JC may need the insurance......

If he intends to follow the path of his namesake, I would skip straight to the life insurance and put his mother as beneficiary of the policy.

Mesmoiselle

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Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
« Reply #33 on: December 21, 2014, 10:10:06 AM »
Before I learned my husband and I were exempt due to my native American status (and his marrying in) we were intending to adjust our tax withholdings to the point there with me no refund but, equally, nothing for the government to take the money out of (no refund.)

With that said, I turned down fun opportunities like roller derby and pretty much all sports to avoid injuries. But the one time I've sprained my ankle as a 17 yr old, I was simply walking. Oh wait. Several other sprains that I home treated but they were sprains and you can do that.

I have no children and I avoid fun risky things and I have good car insurance.

Bankruptcy is not the worst thing in the world. My mother did it twice and she still rolled along and didn't starve homeless on the way side.

MoneyCat

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Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
« Reply #34 on: December 21, 2014, 10:37:06 AM »
What it basically comes down to is "Are you already a multimillionaire?"  If you answer "Yes", then by all means skip health insurance.  If you aren't, then purchase health insurance.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2014, 12:23:05 PM by MoneyCat »

TN_Steve

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Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
« Reply #35 on: December 21, 2014, 12:21:01 PM »
I am a 33 yr old contract worker making 60k/yr and willing to roll the dice and opt out of healthcare insurance in 2015 to further increase my stash. What are some easy loop holes to avoid paying the penalty. I heard you can go delinquent on a utility bill or join an Indian tribe?

Don't over-withhold your income taxes, or try to collect any refundable tax credits.  The ACA really truncated the collection/enforcement authority of the IRS in this area; they can only hold back on refunds for ACA noncompliance.  Here is a relatively understandable analysis of the provisions:  http://taxprof.typepad.com/files/135tn1633-1.pdf 

tracylayton

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Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
« Reply #36 on: December 21, 2014, 12:56:28 PM »
My brother-in-law was bitten by a baby copperhead in his backyard last year. The anti-venom and ER visit totaled over $60,000. You just can't foresee some things. I pay $298 for a Bronze HMO from the ACA website...just in case.

GreenPen

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Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
« Reply #37 on: December 21, 2014, 03:47:33 PM »
I am a 33 yr old contract worker making 60k/yr and willing to roll the dice and opt out of healthcare insurance in 2015 to further increase my stash. What are some easy loop holes to avoid paying the penalty. I heard you can go delinquent on a utility bill or join an Indian tribe?

On top of this being a stupid risk to take on for yourself -- you will also be increasing the chance that you will have unpaid medical bills in the event that something catastrophic happens, the cost of which would get passed on to others. So you should take some personal responsibility and buy medical insurance.

TerriM

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Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
« Reply #38 on: December 21, 2014, 03:52:14 PM »
One of my siblings opted out of health insurance "because [she's] so healthy". Subsequent diagnoses? Appendicitis (surgery), pneumonia (hospitalization), and thyroid cancer (surgery, hospitalization). She's fine now, but I think she's probably very happy that she opted back in at some point. She really, really believed she would never need care. I'm curious as to how she ever came to see herself as invincible!

I know someone who thinks he'll live to be 90 because his grandparents did.  But he's obese, and now has a random genetic condition--we'll see if he lives to 75.

I'm more of a pessimist.  I doubt I'll live to be 70 at the rate I'm going, so maybe I'll get off my butt and  do enough about it to actually live to 80.

Bob W

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Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
« Reply #39 on: December 21, 2014, 09:18:10 PM »
As you can see,  you can easily avoid the penalty.  So now what?  You can negotiate cash payments with hospitals for 70% off.  You will be a better consumer.  You won't have the stupid annual check up which has been shown to have negative health outcomes.  You chose a pale diet.  You'll avoid being an experiment for medical people.  You'll never take meds when exercise and meds work better.  You'll shop for the best rates for surgery.  You'll purchase a cancer policy.  If you develops a condition you can opt in again.

milesdividendmd

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Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
« Reply #40 on: December 22, 2014, 01:24:22 AM »

Statistically insurance is a bad idea...I bet most people on this forum would be financially better off without it, and for those who have actually used it. How much money have you actually saved after all those years you paid? Food for thought...

Statistically buying health insurance is a bad idea, but practically it is not.

Getting sick and having no health insurance is an economically devastating event.

Paying for health insurance is a mildly costly annoyance.

So you are paying a limited amount of your upside for the avoidance of an unlimited degree of downside protection.

This is the classic asymmetric payoff. Generally a good idea. Randomness happens.

MoneyCat

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Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
« Reply #41 on: December 22, 2014, 05:38:25 AM »
By the way, if you get sick without easily available health insurance under the ACA, do us all a favor and stay home to wait for the end instead of going to the emergency room for treatment.  We shouldn't have to pay for your stinginess.

Mesmoiselle

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Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
« Reply #42 on: December 22, 2014, 07:58:36 AM »
I don't know in the case of the OP, but comments about how people are unethical dishonest shitty cheap people for not getting a modern and expensive convenience to offset a risk smack of the comment Scrooge made "If they'd rather die, then they had better do it and decrease the surplus population." Except in this case, rather than "poor"  it's the implication that he is a dead beat for not getting health insurance and may as well die for being such a dead beat.

With health insurance, people still get giant medical bills  that they may, in the end, go bankrupt on of the illness or injury is serious enough. What if he got health but not temporary disability insurance? Is he a dead beat then as well? Now his bills go unpaid during his 1-12 month illness. Even what few bills he gets during this time will go unpaid. He may have to file bankruptcy.

Where does the line end for which product your must buy or you are then a dead beat worthy of the comment "just hurry up and die" ? Why don't we all recognize that bankruptcy was created for a reason, and it wasn't JUST for those who bought every IPhone upgrade and flat screen TV?

Geez. I'm no eloquent degree bearing high income earner, and I'm no socialist, but the comments on this subject just boggle my mind. I pay for those who don't foot their bills too and I don't tell them to die.

DoubleDown

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Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
« Reply #43 on: December 22, 2014, 08:24:36 AM »
^^^ I didn't see anyone telling the OP or anyone else to die. I understand your rhetorical flourish, but it's a legitimate issue that when people get hurt or sick (which is inevitable for all of us), and they consume medical care which they cannot afford due to lack of insurance, those costs get passed onto the rest of society (same as with bankruptcy, evading taxes, dodging creditors, stealing, shoplifting, etc.). It's not good company to be in. Your mother's creditors didn't get paid for the debts she incurred, and they passed those losses on to everyone else.

It's a reasonable issue for others footing the bill to be upset about, and it raises the question of, "What would happen to our "civilized" society if a whole bunch of us started acting this way?" Hence the pass-the-popcorn comments.

justajane

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Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
« Reply #44 on: December 22, 2014, 08:26:53 AM »
If you develops a condition you can opt in again.

There are only certain times of year that you can opt in. Are you going to wait six months to start chemo? This doesn't even factor in emergencies like broken bones, trauma, or pneumonia.

It amazes me that rarely if ever do you see people who opt out of home insurance (which has a finite pay out or replacement value); yet they are willing to gamble on something with infinite costs. 

Mesmoiselle

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Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
« Reply #45 on: December 22, 2014, 08:53:54 AM »
^^^ I didn't see anyone telling the OP or anyone else to die.

I'm pretty sure Moneycat told him to stay home and just wait for the end. How is that not telling him to die?

@unmistakable

Because everyone buys their house on a mortgage, which requires home insurance to meet the terms.

arebelspy

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Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
« Reply #46 on: December 22, 2014, 09:10:46 AM »

I don't know in the case of the OP, but comments about how people are unethical dishonest shitty cheap people for not getting a modern and expensive convenience to offset a risk smack of the comment Scrooge made "If they'd rather die, then they had better do it and decrease the surplus population." Except in this case, rather than "poor"  it's the implication that he is a dead beat for not getting health insurance and may as well die for being such a dead beat.

While I don't agree with the comments, your analogy is quite off.

Telling the poor who can't afford it versus telling someone who can afford it but chooses not to (in order to mooch) is different.

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arebelspy

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Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
« Reply #47 on: December 22, 2014, 09:13:32 AM »


As you can see,  you can easily avoid the penalty. 
So now what?  You can negotiate cash payments with hospitals for 70% off.  You will be a better consumer.  You won't have the stupid annual check up which has been shown to have negative health outcomes.  You chose a pale diet.  You'll avoid being an experiment for medical people.  You'll never take meds when exercise and meds work better.  You'll shop for the best rates for surgery.  You'll purchase a cancer policy.  If you develops a condition you can opt in again.

Oh?  I haven't seen a ton of actual discussion on the question (how to) but a lot on if you should.

Basically just don't have a tax refund and let the fees keep piling up year after year for the rest of your life?
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

Tyler

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Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
« Reply #48 on: December 22, 2014, 09:28:01 AM »
The OP can afford the coverage, but wishes to forego it to make an extra 5% income. I wouldn't make that trade, but to each his own.

My preferred "loophole" would be to earn a 5% raise to pay for my health insurance without affecting my net income. If paid hourly, I could ask to work 42 hours a week instead of 40. Alternately, I would look for an employer who pays much of the premium for you. And in the meantime, perhaps I could find some money to trim elsewhere out of my budget to offset the costs.

IMHO, you'll end up in a better financial situation if you get creative about covering the costs of health insurance rather than than avoiding it.

Mesmoiselle

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Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
« Reply #49 on: December 22, 2014, 10:11:36 AM »
And if a lot of people stopped having optional children, they wouldn't be underneath the poverty line in the first place to qualify for the subsidies.

Those deadbeats, choosing lifestyles that cause them to no longer easily afford health insurance. How dare they.

People aren't [insert negative adjective] for not getting health insurance. That's the only point I have. And I just disagree with everyone on that matter, and I'm comfortable with my opinion being the outlier.