Wednesday Sept. 18, 2013
You might qualify for health care under Obamacare.
You don’t have to be unemployed, underemployed or a part-time worker, the categories of people I figured were meant to be the main beneficiaries. Certain full-time workers earning middle-class wages are potentially eligible for coverage via the planned health insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act as well. Tax credits to help cover the cost may even be available.
The Kaiser Family Foundation put together a calculator to help you figure out if you qualify and tax credits you may be able to tap. Look here.
Here are a few Affordable Care Act guidelines, also from Kaiser:
- If you earn 100 to 400 percent of the poverty level for your household size (here’s a table that spells out the varied levels, depending on family size), you may potentially be able to get care via health insurance exchanges AND get subsidies. For a single person, 400 percent of poverty is $45,960 a year and for a family of four it’s $94,200.
- Those earning up to 138 percent of poverty would be able to get care through a proposed expansion of the Medicaid program. It’s not clear yet if Indiana Gov. Mike Pence will allow the expansion here, though.
- Those earning less than 100 percent of the poverty level would NOT be eligible for subsidies on the health care exchanges, those same subsidies potentially available for those making 100 to 400 percent of poverty level. The presumption is the group would get care through the expanded Medicaid program.
- Even if you are offered coverage through an employer, you may still be able to get coverage through the health insurance exchanges instead AND access government tax credits to offset the cost. To be eligible for tax credits, the share you pay of the employer-sponsored insurance must be more than 9.5 percent of your income or the employer plan must have an actuarial value of less than 60 percent.
- The credit on the exchanges if you’re eligible would potentially limit the insurance premium to 2 to 9.5 percent of your income. The lower the income, the higher the subsidy, generally speaking.
- You’d potentially face fines, depending on your income level, if you don’t get health care under Obamacare.
Enrollment in the health insurance plans available through the health insurance exchanges starts Oct. 1, when plan details, costs and other information are supposed to be available. Go to www.healthcare.gov, a government-run site, for more information and, come Oct. 1, particulars on the plans offered in Indiana. Coverage under insurance from the exchanges is to start Jan. 1.
Tim Vandenack is a reporter at the Elkhart Truth newspaper in Elkhart, Ind., www.etruth.com. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 574-296-5884. Visit him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter at @timvandenack.