One of the pitfalls of the ACA (Romneycare on steroids)

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    • #49963
      Bernie 4 2020
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 1,403

      I will try to make this as short as possible. (I apologize now- hehehe)

      Background: I am 64, soon to be 65 and going on Medicare. I personally, can’t wait. It has been difficult finding work for a 60+ IT employee. I had to give up, and retire early, just to survive.

      I have been on the ACA for the past 5 years, and quickly found out it is not health care insurance. It’s more like catastrophic insurance. You really can’t use it since anything outside of wellness visits are applied to a high deductible first. My current deductible is 7K. It’s a joke.

      Well, in November of 2017, I had to predict my income for 2018, to calculate my monthly ACA payments. In order to qualify, your combined income (You and your spouse) must be under 64K. For tax reasons and the ACA, your guess needs to be pretty damn close to what you will make that year. If you get any unexpected income (IE: part time job, or have to take money out of an IRA) it could adversely affect your monthly payment and your qualifications for the ACA. If you don’t go back to the ACA and change it, adjusting your income and monthly payment, you are putting yourself in jeopardy of losing all tax credits for the ACA. Note: If you make too much, and go over the ACA threshold, YOU will have to pay the full retail price of the entire bill for the year, out of pocket.

      Well, last year, my savings account was being depleted too fast due to unexpected house repairs/expenses (water damage). I had to pull 8K from my IRA to pay the bill and stop my savings account from bleeding. This was in October 2018.

      Along comes 2019, and I have to claim that 8K. Well, that put me over the threshold to qualify for the ACA, and I was stuck with paying back everything the insurance company originally charged. No more monthly reduction. No more tax credit. I had to pay back the retail amount for insurance for the annual fees. I WAS FUCKED. Yep, I was a victim of the system. Do I blame myself?  Hell yes, I should have re-evaluated my situation. I panicked. It was late in the year. Too late to recover the lower monthly payments made throughout he year. And the repair work had to be done to stop additional damage and costing me more.

      Bottom line here? I took 8K out of an IRA to fix a critical house issue. Because of that income increase, and taxes are due (judgement day)now, I no longer am qualified for ACA tax credits, and now owe the full amount of 7900 to pay for the years ACA insurance policy. I was caught up in a “gotcha” situation.

      So what is the lesson to be learned here?

      When you calculate your income the year prior, stay on track. You may want to pad your income a little bit, pay a little more each month, and get it back at the end of the year.  Some have even suggested if you need income, to get a short term loan, so you do not have to pay full price for your insurance. If I would have done that, I could have saved 8K in repayments to the government, and pick monthly payments on what I borrowed. Once on Medicare, the ACA rules disappear and then pay off what’s left of the 8K loan with the IRA.

      Keep a friggin eye on the maximum, and under no circumstances, go over that number. If you have a hardship, find a way to fix it without making/showing income. Borrow, if necessary.

      I get it. You have to remember, that the ACA, is Romneycare, phase II.

      Hey, I messed up and its too late now. I do this to let people know of some of the pitfalls of the “AFFORDABLE” Care Act. Don’t let this situation bite you in the ass.

       

      I will be a Bernie supporter FOREVER. This whole thing with Bernie and his people oriented policies were meant to be introduced in this day and age!! Many have tried and failed in the past. Succeeding was almost impossible. It's kind of a gimme in today's corrupt 2 party system that you have to work within. Just look how things have changed in the past 8 years from Bernie's policies. It was meant to be. Wait it out. Change will come. Thank you Bernie for all you've done. You are a truly amazing person.

    • #49969
      mmonk
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 904

      I went through the same thing. It wrecked me this past year.

      Fear not the path of Truth for the lack of People walking on it. - RFK

    • #49973
      Bernie 4 2020
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 1,403

      It’s so friggin stupid to have such a low cutoff.

      I say F it. Let’s make healthcare a right… One less thing to bitch about, right?

      I wanna be Finland. I wanna be one of the happiest countries in the world. It all starts in 2020. Go Bernie!!!!

      I will be a Bernie supporter FOREVER. This whole thing with Bernie and his people oriented policies were meant to be introduced in this day and age!! Many have tried and failed in the past. Succeeding was almost impossible. It's kind of a gimme in today's corrupt 2 party system that you have to work within. Just look how things have changed in the past 8 years from Bernie's policies. It was meant to be. Wait it out. Change will come. Thank you Bernie for all you've done. You are a truly amazing person.

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