Obamacare: plan at work may cost the same as before

I’ve heard that once Obamacare kicks in next year, I won’t have to pay anything for my health insurance at work.  It would be great if it’s true.  I take as much overtime as I can to pay for my coverage and my daughter’s.  It sounds too good to be true, but is it true?


Dear Skeptical,

It’s not true, or not exactly true anyway.  Health reform does not make an employer pay for everyone’s coverage.  It does, however, set some limits on how much an employee pays to cover him/herself.  An employee cannot pay more than 9.5 percent of his income to join the employer’s plan and cover himself. (The amount he pays for family coverage can be higher than 9.5 percent of his income or his household income.)

There are other things in health reform to help moderate and low-income families pay for health insurance and pay for co-pays and deductibles.  Families whose income is less than 400 percent of federal poverty limits (FPL) will get help.  If it is just you and your daughter, then you would get help if your yearly salary is less than $62,040.  Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Health Reform Subsidy calculator to get an estimate of how much help you might get.

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Linda Riddell

About Linda Riddell

A published author and health policy analyst with 25 years’ experience, Linda Riddell's goal is to alleviate the widespread ailment of not knowing what your health plan can do for you.