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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: Jesus Christ on December 20, 2014, 03:54:46 PM

Title: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: Jesus Christ on December 20, 2014, 03:54:46 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?
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: MoneyCat 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. 
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: ysette9 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?
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: iris lily on December 20, 2014, 04:11:35 PM
oh, this should be good. Sitting back with popcorn.
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: Lynski 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.
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: Lynski on December 20, 2014, 04:14:59 PM
Could you pass the popcorn please, Iris? :)
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: gaspony 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. 
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: TerriM 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.
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: TerriM 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?
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: Another Reader 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.
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: GreenPen 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.
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: Jesus Christ 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)
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: Another Reader 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.
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: Jesus Christ 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.
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: Another Reader 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.
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: Thegoblinchief on December 20, 2014, 06:13:55 PM
Wait wait wait... The son of god can get sick?
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: Exflyboy 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
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: Kriegsspiel 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.
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: Another Reader 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......
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: Avidconsumer 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...
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: iris lily 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.
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: arebelspy 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.
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: TerriM 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.... 
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: Exflyboy 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
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: TerriM 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.
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: Exflyboy on December 20, 2014, 11:42:48 PM
It was stage 4 when it was diagnosed.. in other words it was everywhere.

Totally sucks..:(
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: geekette 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 (http://vs-cancer.org/?page_id=2694) 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>
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: CanuckExpat 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 (http://www.frontpagemag.com/2013/dgreenfield/escape-obamacare-by-joining-an-indian-tribe/) (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 (http://www.forbes.com/sites/scottgottlieb/2014/03/19/14-ways-to-avoid-the-obamacare-tax/), so I think that would be your way to go:
(http://blogs-images.forbes.com/scottgottlieb/files/2014/04/pic2.jpg) (http://www.forbes.com/sites/scottgottlieb/2014/03/19/14-ways-to-avoid-the-obamacare-tax/)


Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: UnleashHell 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...
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: Adventine on December 21, 2014, 05:34:38 AM



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

Best laugh I've had all day!
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: chasesfish 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/
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: Davids 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.
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: TerriM 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.
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: Mesmoiselle 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.
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: MoneyCat 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.
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: TN_Steve 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 
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: tracylayton 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.
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: GreenPen 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.
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: TerriM 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.
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: Bob W 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.
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: milesdividendmd 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.
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: MoneyCat 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.
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: Mesmoiselle 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.
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: DoubleDown 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.
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: justajane 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. 
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: Mesmoiselle 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.
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: arebelspy 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.

Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: arebelspy 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?
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: Tyler 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.
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: Mesmoiselle 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.
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: Jesus Christ on March 11, 2016, 09:04:39 PM
Update: I applied to the "Health Insurance Marketplace" with my shut off notice from the electrical company. (I paid off the outstanding balance before they could really shut off the power)

It took about 2 weeks and they mailed me the results saying I qualified for the hardship exemption. They gave me a exemption certificate number (ECN) to use when I prepare my taxes.

Exciting for not having to pay the penalty. I only went to the dermatologist once which cost me $120 cash. So I made out.
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: Lance Burkhart on March 11, 2016, 09:49:47 PM
That is interesting.

A buddy at work got laid off and brought back as a contractor so he pays for his own insurance (family of 7).  He's over 50 and out $1500 a month with a $10k deductible.  Personally, I don't see how that's worth it.  I talked to a medical billing advocate who said he can negotiate really expensive bills like heart attacks from $60-70k down to $30k, so foregoing insurance would pay for itself in 1.5 years if it could be negotiated.  Which is a big 'IF.'  Hospitals know who to stick with big bills (the uninsured with assets).  I'd have a lot of sleepless nights waiting for the outcome of bill negotiations. 

Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: Tom Bri on March 11, 2016, 09:54:38 PM
If you don't have insurance, but get treated anyway at a cost of say, $60,000, of which you pay $10,000, and then go bankrupt, how is that different for society than if you paid $10K in premiums and the insurance company paid the rest? In both cases a third party eats the loss, either the insurance company or the hospital. Both entities have procedures in place to handle the risk.
So, my question to those above who argued that it is unjust (I paraphrase) to go without insurance and then load the cost onto someone else, please explain the difference to us as a whole?
Personally, I think insurance has been a huge distraction, a wartime measure adopted by companies that had no other legal option to raise salaries. Prior to WWII medical insurance was a tiny market compared to later. Then the US Gov got involved and started giving tax breaks for having it. What a huge waste, inserting an expensive middleman between the sick person and his doctor. (I work for a medical insurance company, and consider my salary a net loss to society. I am leaving to become a nurse later this month.)
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: index on March 12, 2016, 09:03:10 AM
The OP is an example of what is wrong with the aca. Penalties should be the cost of an unsubsidized bronze plan and the IRS should be able to garnish your wages.

The OP seems to be taking a big gamble for something that reduces his net income by 1800 to 2000 a year. It makes me sick someone who makes 60k voluntarily withholds paying for utilities to get out of paying anything for insurance. You are 33 years old.

Grow up.
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: Pylortes on March 12, 2016, 07:12:55 PM
Mr. Christ this seems at best a questionable strategy, and at worst fraud and/or perjury that could subject you to a criminal prosecution, and a much bigger fine than the original ACA tax.  I would strongly recommend you reconsider whether this is worth it.  In a quick glance at the healthcare.gov website I saw the following:

"If one of your utilities was shut off, you qualify for a health coverage exemption.

This means you donít have to pay the fee for the months you were affected by the utility shut-off."

That sure seems to imply that the exemption for a utility shut-off is temporary and not something you can pull off for the entire year, which if you think about the rationale for this hardship makes sense- the hardship is there for folks who lost electricity temporarily and were not able to get online before the deadline to sign up.

In addition, your hardship application is presented under penalty of perjury.  I have not seen what you wrote on your application but if you stretched the truth in any way your application could put you at risk of criminal prosecution.

I have admittedly not done extensive research on the statute and any administrative regulations put out by CMS, but my suspicion is that you are at risk for much bigger penalties than the ACA tax.  I think it would be smart of you to reconsider your plan here.
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: Rocket on March 12, 2016, 07:38:17 PM
Jesus wants his login name back.
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: Metric Mouse on March 12, 2016, 09:36:27 PM
The OP is an example of what is wrong with the aca. Penalties should be the cost of an unsubsidized bronze plan and the IRS should be able to garnish your wages.

The OP seems to be taking a big gamble for something that reduces his net income by 1800 to 2000 a year. It makes me sick someone who makes 60k voluntarily withholds paying for utilities to get out of paying anything for insurance. You are 33 years old.

Grow up.

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.

How is this mooching? At no point does the op say anything about not paying his medical bills? He doesn't want to be forced to pay for insurance; he is in no way passing the costs off to anyone else.
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: LeRainDrop on March 12, 2016, 09:45:17 PM
The OP is an example of what is wrong with the aca. Penalties should be the cost of an unsubsidized bronze plan and the IRS should be able to garnish your wages.

The OP seems to be taking a big gamble for something that reduces his net income by 1800 to 2000 a year. It makes me sick someone who makes 60k voluntarily withholds paying for utilities to get out of paying anything for insurance. You are 33 years old.

Grow up.

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.

How is this mooching? At no point does the op say anything about not paying his medical bills? He doesn't want to be forced to pay for insurance; he is in no way passing the costs off to anyone else.

Because he is not paying the ACA penalty for not having insurance, which is income the public otherwise relies on to pay for governmental programs.  If he's not paying his share of that, the government has to get those dollars from other people somehow or else provide lesser services.  And then, as someone else pointed out, if, god forbid, something terrible were to happen to him this year necessitating huge medical costs that he could not or would not pay, then that means the service providers bear the burden and perhaps may lead to bankruptcy, which would burden all of his creditors.
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: Lance Burkhart on March 13, 2016, 04:09:44 PM
The government wrote gave us the ACA as a law then decided it was a tax, ie, you have to participate unless you qualify for an exemption.  He followed the law to apply for an exemption and was granted one by the government.  You people still aren't happy.  The duration of the exemption is between him and the IRS, not him and you.   

I went to healthcare.gov and looked through all the exemptions.  One of them is "in the country illegally."  The people illegally in the country are showing up to the ER and receiving tons of expensive care at the cost of a minimal deposit they pay when they are admitted.  Or they qualify for a government program.  They're not forced to buy insurance.  The costs are either passed onto you and me in the form of higher prices or written off as losses.  I hear no calls for them to be sent home or at least kicked out of the ER around here.  Similarly, there are those who are covered under Medicare.  The providers are minimally-reimbursed at cost according to zip code.  Any costs providers cannot recover from Medicare patients is shifted off onto those who have private insurance or the uninsured with money. 

You shouldn't be surprised that massive cost-shifting in healthcare is causing people to try to circumvent or game the system.  Screaming for more laws and government coercion is just going to cause more people to try to circumvent the system.

You have no evidence that the guy in the OP is going to refuse to pay some big bill or try to evade it.  You are ass-uming it. 




Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: Metric Mouse on March 13, 2016, 05:11:49 PM
The OP is an example of what is wrong with the aca. Penalties should be the cost of an unsubsidized bronze plan and the IRS should be able to garnish your wages.

The OP seems to be taking a big gamble for something that reduces his net income by 1800 to 2000 a year. It makes me sick someone who makes 60k voluntarily withholds paying for utilities to get out of paying anything for insurance. You are 33 years old.

Grow up.

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.

How is this mooching? At no point does the op say anything about not paying his medical bills? He doesn't want to be forced to pay for insurance; he is in no way passing the costs off to anyone else.

Because he is not paying the ACA penalty for not having insurance, which is income the public otherwise relies on to pay for governmental programs.  If he's not paying his share of that, the government has to get those dollars from other people somehow or else provide lesser services.  And then, as someone else pointed out, if, god forbid, something terrible were to happen to him this year necessitating huge medical costs that he could not or would not pay, then that means the service providers bear the burden and perhaps may lead to bankruptcy, which would burden all of his creditors.

Statistically speaking, the op's income bracket means that he is less likely to need expensive emergent care, less likely to be ill overall and MORE likely to be able to afford his medical bills.  He's paying, in full, for every service he receives - there is no passing the buck or mooching if he doesn't need the insurance. If that were the case, anyone who had an exemption would be mooching. Health INSURANCE is different from Health CARE. He's reducing his costs, saving money and paying all of his medical bills - if only the ACA could have done that.
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: tobitonic on March 13, 2016, 07:49:30 PM
If you don't have insurance, but get treated anyway at a cost of say, $60,000, of which you pay $10,000, and then go bankrupt, how is that different for society than if you paid $10K in premiums and the insurance company paid the rest? In both cases a third party eats the loss, either the insurance company or the hospital. Both entities have procedures in place to handle the risk.
So, my question to those above who argued that it is unjust (I paraphrase) to go without insurance and then load the cost onto someone else, please explain the difference to us as a whole?

Ignoring the rather significant fact that he may be denied treatment long before he has the chance to go bankrupt, leading to an early, untimely, and unnecessary death, selfish and high-risk behaviors like these contribute to further individualist thinking in society, when what we really need is more interdependence. If we'd like nicer things for everyone (e.g., universal health care), we need to think beyond our individual desires to minimize our taxes and act in ways that increase societal trust and cohesion, not reduce them.
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: tobitonic on March 13, 2016, 07:51:40 PM
I went to healthcare.gov and looked through all the exemptions.  One of them is "in the country illegally."  The people illegally in the country are showing up to the ER and receiving tons of expensive care at the cost of a minimal deposit they pay when they are admitted.  Or they qualify for a government program.  They're not forced to buy insurance.  The costs are either passed onto you and me in the form of higher prices or written off as losses.  I hear no calls for them to be sent home or at least kicked out of the ER around here. 

I've yet to meet a person who believes they'd have a better life as an undocumented immigrant than as a natural born citizen.
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: Tom Bri on March 13, 2016, 09:34:58 PM
If you don't have insurance, but get treated anyway at a cost of say, $60,000, of which you pay $10,000, and then go bankrupt, how is that different for society than if you paid $10K in premiums and the insurance company paid the rest? In both cases a third party eats the loss, either the insurance company or the hospital. Both entities have procedures in place to handle the risk.
So, my question to those above who argued that it is unjust (I paraphrase) to go without insurance and then load the cost onto someone else, please explain the difference to us as a whole?

Ignoring the rather significant fact that he may be denied treatment long before he has the chance to go bankrupt, leading to an early, untimely, and unnecessary death, selfish and high-risk behaviors like these contribute to further individualist thinking in society, when what we really need is more interdependence. If we'd like nicer things for everyone (e.g., universal health care), we need to think beyond our individual desires to minimize our taxes and act in ways that increase societal trust and cohesion, not reduce them.

Which neatly sidesteps my question. Both insurance companies and hospitals have procedures in place to handle losses. How is society affected if one or the other takes the hit? Insurance companies, and the government too, are just expensive middlemen, wasting money that could better be used for other purposes, as, for example, providing medical care. This isn't a question of individualism vs. corporatism.
A side question, do you think that the ACA increases trust and cohesion? Mainly it seems to make people mad. At least, that's what I hear from our clients, people raving about the unjustness of it all. People don't seem to like being bullied around, even if other people think they know better.
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: Emergo on March 13, 2016, 10:45:18 PM
My dad is actually in the same position. He has no insurance and he only makes $24000 a year. He missed the deadline. What are his options not to get penalized?
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: LeRainDrop on March 13, 2016, 11:19:26 PM
My dad is actually in the same position. He has no insurance and he only makes $24000 a year. He missed the deadline. What are his options not to get penalized?

Here is a starting point:  http://obamacarefacts.com/missed-deadline-obamacare/  I hope that helps.
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: The_path_less_taken on March 14, 2016, 10:40:05 AM
OP, it was tough reading all the negative crap on this thread. You asked a question. Period.

And for what it's worth, I hope some of you people realize that not everyone believes in the AMA and even wants medical. Except for catastrophic crap. And like I think Bob said: you can negotiate that down when paying cash. Often making it cheaper than paying insurance.

I have GERD to the point where vomit shoots out my nose when I sleep. I wake up choking and have to figure out how to clear the airway while still asleep. Not fun. Ironically after getting an endoscope done, and taking multiple prescriptions, and seeing 3 docs for it: still happening. And I'm out thousands of fucking dollars.

Know what actually works? DGL. Cheap, natural, pleasant. Not one doctor had even mentioned it.

Had a spine fusion years ago. Woulda probably been better off with a good chiropractor, in the long run.

Some people---and I'm one---are disgusted by the "oh, you can't just go to that specialist, you have to wait 5 weeks for an appointment to see your regular doc, pay him, and THEN wait 9 weeks to see a specialist and pay them. And then pay for mega testing to cover their asses for liability reasons: not because you need multiple MRI's or whatever....just so they look good in court if it should ever come to that."

And that's pure bullshit.

Insurance isn't something the government should be ALLOWED to require and certainly not something they should legally be allowed to fine you for not getting. Period.

Yes...SOME uninsured people in the present system, and illegal aliens work the system. But countries like the UK somehow manage to make medical care available without fining people....imagine.

And regardless of your opinion of his actions, being insulting to someone like the OP who chooses a different path is childish and pathetic.

I'm taking a break from this board...some of you people need a LOT more fiber in your diet. AKA as: you are full of shit.


[MOD NOTE:  Let's be courteous to one another, shall we?  Thank you.  It's the first rule around here]
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: index on March 14, 2016, 11:46:26 AM
OP, it was tough reading all the negative crap on this thread. You asked a question. Period.

I was one of the commenters who told him to grow up.

And for what it's worth, I hope some of you people realize that not everyone believes in the AMA and even wants medical. Except for catastrophic crap. And like I think Bob said: you can negotiate that down when paying cash. Often making it cheaper than paying insurance.

The OP was offered a plan to cover catastrophes but 2k a year after tax was too expensive. Good luck negotiating a 40k bill down to less than 2k. Who cares what someone believes in? It's a law. Guess what? You still have to pay to educate children and the military even if you dont "believe" in it.   

I have GERD to the point where vomit shoots out my nose when I sleep. I wake up choking and have to figure out how to clear the airway while still asleep. Not fun. Ironically after getting an endoscope done, and taking multiple prescriptions, and seeing 3 docs for it: still happening. And I'm out thousands of fucking dollars.

Know what actually works? DGL. Cheap, natural, pleasant. Not one doctor had even mentioned it.

Had a spine fusion years ago. Woulda probably been better off with a good chiropractor, in the long run.

I'm sorry to hear that. My best friend fell off his bike in college and had over 110k in medical bills so he could hold a fork again. He was uninsured as this was pre ACA and negotiated the bills down to just under 50k. We all have nice stories. They are all pointless when discussing if insurance is needed or not. The fact is X% of the population will have a 80k+ hospital stay this year. Will it be you? Don't know, but that is what insurance is for.


Some people---and I'm one---are disgusted by the "oh, you can't just go to that specialist, you have to wait 5 weeks for an appointment to see your regular doc, pay him, and THEN wait 9 weeks to see a specialist and pay them. And then pay for mega testing to cover their asses for liability reasons: not because you need multiple MRI's or whatever....just so they look good in court if it should ever come to that."

And that's pure bullshit.

Insurance isn't something the government should be ALLOWED to require and certainly not something they should legally be allowed to fine you for not getting. Period.

Agreed with the specialist requirements some HMO's require. You could switch insurance types/companies though... Sometimes the testing gets excessive. You excessive testing is more in reference to everyone wanting a good answer to their problem but not wanting to pay for a good answer.

My medical care is more expensive because the OP goes to the ER for a broken hip and can't pay 100k out of pocket for surgery. Sure the hospital will give him a bill negotiated down to 60k, but he can't pay that because he can't work for 18 months. He ends up declaring bankruptcy because he owns a house, a car, and most of his investments are in retirement funds that won't be touched in court. He ends up paying 18k of his liquid investments then my medical care costs are increased to recover the hospital's loss.

This is exactly why medical insurance should be required. Why should everyone paying for insurance have to cover someone who wanted to save 2k more?

   
Yes...SOME uninsured people in the present system, and illegal aliens work the system. But countries like the UK somehow manage to make medical care available without fining people....imagine.

The UK provides point of service primary care and is paid for by taxes. In the UK <30k is taxes at 20%; 30k-150k is taxed at 40k; over 150k is taxed at 45%. Their VAT (sales tax) is 20% and their is a 4% stamp tax when buying real estate. Once again, this is an example of wanting something, but not wanting to pay for it.

0
And regardless of your opinion of his actions, being insulting to someone like the OP who chooses a different path is childish and pathetic.

I'm taking a break from this board...some of you people need a LOT more fiber in your diet. AKA as: you are full of shit.

Except for his different path could get him charged with perjury... I think your last line speaks to who is acting childish. 
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: maco on March 14, 2016, 12:33:45 PM

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.
Fine, I'll be the socialist. OP shouldn't be able to get out of paying for healthcare, because it should be taken out of every paycheck received by every person in the country, as part of income tax.
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: Pylortes on March 14, 2016, 05:10:01 PM
I tried not to come off as too judgmental in my post above, but perhaps it reads that way, if so my apologies.  I don't want to get into a pros/cons debating the merits of the law.  At this point it is the law, right or wrong, that we each must buy insurance subject to a few hardship restrictions.  The OP has admittedly created an artificial hardship in order to qualify for an exemption.  But the government requires a statement under oath certifying that a hardship in fact exists in order to qualify.  perhaps there won't be a problem but in my mind just the chance there would be legal ramifications, money and stress involved makes this a risky strategy vs. buying a policy or paying the penalty.  It makes sense to consider the pros and cons of this strategy. OPs strategy would not be anything I would recommend but perhaps the OP has different priorities.
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: tobitonic on March 14, 2016, 08:34:28 PM
If you don't have insurance, but get treated anyway at a cost of say, $60,000, of which you pay $10,000, and then go bankrupt, how is that different for society than if you paid $10K in premiums and the insurance company paid the rest? In both cases a third party eats the loss, either the insurance company or the hospital. Both entities have procedures in place to handle the risk.
So, my question to those above who argued that it is unjust (I paraphrase) to go without insurance and then load the cost onto someone else, please explain the difference to us as a whole?

Ignoring the rather significant fact that he may be denied treatment long before he has the chance to go bankrupt, leading to an early, untimely, and unnecessary death, selfish and high-risk behaviors like these contribute to further individualist thinking in society, when what we really need is more interdependence. If we'd like nicer things for everyone (e.g., universal health care), we need to think beyond our individual desires to minimize our taxes and act in ways that increase societal trust and cohesion, not reduce them.

Which neatly sidesteps my question.

Nope; I answered it. It just wasn't the answer you wanted to hear, since you were looking for a response that had to do with money. As with many things in life, money isn't really the point at all.
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: Tom Bri on March 15, 2016, 07:05:45 PM
If you don't have insurance, but get treated anyway at a cost of say, $60,000, of which you pay $10,000, and then go bankrupt, how is that different for society than if you paid $10K in premiums and the insurance company paid the rest? In both cases a third party eats the loss, either the insurance company or the hospital. Both entities have procedures in place to handle the risk.
So, my question to those above who argued that it is unjust (I paraphrase) to go without insurance and then load the cost onto someone else, please explain the difference to us as a whole?

Ignoring the rather significant fact that he may be denied treatment long before he has the chance to go bankrupt, leading to an early, untimely, and unnecessary death, selfish and high-risk behaviors like these contribute to further individualist thinking in society, when what we really need is more interdependence. If we'd like nicer things for everyone (e.g., universal health care), we need to think beyond our individual desires to minimize our taxes and act in ways that increase societal trust and cohesion, not reduce them.

Which neatly sidesteps my question.

Nope; I answered it. It just wasn't the answer you wanted to hear, since you were looking for a response that had to do with money. As with many things in life, money isn't really the point at all.

I still think you missed the point of my comment. To ask a question regarding your point, if we'd all like nice things like universal health care, what difference does it make if it is paid for by insurance companies, the government or some other system? These nice things cost resources (usually measured by money); whether we are more or less individualistic doesn't change that.
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: tobitonic on March 15, 2016, 07:47:46 PM
I still think you missed the point of my comment. To ask a question regarding your point, if we'd all like nice things like universal health care, what difference does it make if it is paid for by insurance companies, the government or some other system? These nice things cost resources (usually measured by money); whether we are more or less individualistic doesn't change that.

I hear what you're saying. Off the top of my head, one of the biggest differences is that these nice things cost far fewer resources when we treat them as societal functions rather than as luxuries for people who can afford them. That's why libraries are far more valuable to a society seeking literacy than bookstores, for example. To me, that has everything to do with individualism vs collectivism, as one mindset (individualism) encourages more bookstores (and literacy for those who can afford it), while the other increases literacy for everyone, regardless of income level.

Or to bring it back to UHC, in pretty much every country with it, per capita healthcare costs are far less than they are in the US, and the same basic level of care is available to everyone (kind of like how everyone can check out every book in a library for free). You can buy more care with private insurance, of course (just as you can buy books from a bookstore), but you don't ever face the prospect of choosing between your health and your income, the way you do in a society without a collective safety net.

And of course, what we have right now with semi-universal health insurance is a far cry from a fully functioning UHC or UHI setup, although it's a large step in the right direction (e.g., by the mere fact that pre-existing conditions can't be used to deny health care or the fact that lifetime coverage limits are also disallowed) from a past healthcare culture that was nothing short of barbaric.
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: purplish on March 16, 2016, 06:54:02 PM

I went to healthcare.gov and looked through all the exemptions.  One of them is "in the country illegally."
Source please?  Because I literally just looked at the list of exemptions and there is nothing saying people here "illegally" have an exemption.



 The_path_less_taken- Right, but you also need to take in consideration why they do endoscopies.  They are searching for things like Barrets esophagus, cancer, hiatal hernias, motility disorders, and ulcers.  Most of these conditions require further treatment.  Yes, you were lucky that you "only" have GERD.  It's very black and white thinking however to think "I only have GERD therefore medical treatment is dumb!".  That's great you don't have esophageal cancer, but what if you did?  What about the people who do?  What happens?  I say this as someone who was feeling very sick, and ended up finding I have GERD, a hiatal hernia, gastritis, and IBS.  Damn right I felt sick.  What if one of those things happened to be cancer instead?  The bills would be astronomical.
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: Tom Bri on March 16, 2016, 07:10:31 PM
I still think you missed the point of my comment. To ask a question regarding your point, if we'd all like nice things like universal health care, what difference does it make if it is paid for by insurance companies, the government or some other system? These nice things cost resources (usually measured by money); whether we are more or less individualistic doesn't change that.

I hear what you're saying. Off the top of my head, one of the biggest differences is that these nice things cost far fewer resources when we treat them as societal functions rather than as luxuries for people who can afford them. That's why libraries are far more valuable to a society seeking literacy than bookstores, for example. To me, that has everything to do with individualism vs collectivism, as one mindset (individualism) encourages more bookstores (and literacy for those who can afford it), while the other increases literacy for everyone, regardless of income level.

Or to bring it back to UHC, in pretty much every country with it, per capita healthcare costs are far less than they are in the US, and the same basic level of care is available to everyone (kind of like how everyone can check out every book in a library for free). You can buy more care with private insurance, of course (just as you can buy books from a bookstore), but you don't ever face the prospect of choosing between your health and your income, the way you do in a society without a collective safety net.

And of course, what we have right now with semi-universal health insurance is a far cry from a fully functioning UHC or UHI setup, although it's a large step in the right direction (e.g., by the mere fact that pre-existing conditions can't be used to deny health care or the fact that lifetime coverage limits are also disallowed) from a past healthcare culture that was nothing short of barbaric.

Okay. A quibble though. At least in the US, libraries began as private endowments. Carnegie is the famous example. Only later did they become public entities, and they are certainly not federal entities. Same for schools. The people decided they wanted schools, and got together and started them. (Later, local governments took over, and now we have bastard federal/state/local craptastic schools.)

I see this as very similar to the health care situation. Each time we add a layer of higher government, quality goes down and price goes up (excluding technological improvements which can cut both ways.) I honestly doubt that the ACA, or any other program designed by the US government in cahoots with big insurance will result in reduced costs for the average person.

The US government just doesn't work that way. If it did, the VA would be the best health system in the world. The US government has generations of experience running top-down healthcare for millions of people, and it's a disaster.

The one and only legitimate argument that I see for the ACA is pre-existing conditions. I work in insurance (non-ACA) and our plans do not cover preX. Just about every day I advise one or more people to cancel our plans and get an ACA plan because they bought it not understanding that point. That is so sad, especially since open enrollment is done now, and they'll have to wait until November to sign up for an ACA plan.

But did we really need to overturn a huge industry in order to cover this small minority of people? After you subtract medicare and medicaid-eligible folks, you end up with maybe a few million people who had no insurance option pre-ACA. So, our government chose the worst possible solution, the most expensive, that would cause the greatest disruption and the most bitterness, and rammed it down our throats, literally, in a late-night lame-duck Christmas eve vote.

Sorry, I could ramble on and on.

Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: maco on March 16, 2016, 09:28:17 PM

Okay. A quibble though. At least in the US, libraries began as private endowments. Carnegie is the famous example. Only later did they become public entities, and they are certainly not federal entities.
Ben Franklin founded the first public library in 1731, over 100 years before Carnegie was born! The first one to be supported solely by taxes was founded in 1833, a couple years before Carnegie's birth.
Title: Re: How to avoid paying the Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance
Post by: Daleth on March 16, 2016, 09:59:17 PM
Update: I applied to the "Health Insurance Marketplace" with my shut off notice from the electrical company. (I paid off the outstanding balance before they could really shut off the power)

It took about 2 weeks and they mailed me the results saying I qualified for the hardship exemption. They gave me a exemption certificate number (ECN) to use when I prepare my taxes.

Exciting for not having to pay the penalty. I only went to the dermatologist once which cost me $120 cash. So I made out.

Let us know how that goes when you actually file your taxes. They're going to whack you retroactively when they see your income--and whack you for more than what it would've cost to just obey the law--and rightly so. At best, you just fraudulently got out of a whole entire MONTH of health insurance premiums by paying your electrical bill late, woohoo!