Category Archives: Health Reform/ Affordable Care Act

Affordable Care Act: Dirigo plan ended; college student needs new plan

“Help…I insured my 18-year-old daughter on the former – “Dirigo Choice Health Plan” which ended December 31st, 2013.  She is now a college student in New Hampshire full time.  She has a shoulder condition for which she’s previously had labrum surgery and will probably need more surgery in the future.  She also has allergy/asthma/immunology conditions […]

Affordable Care Act: Does Social Security count as income?

“My father will be 64 February of 2014 and lives in Florida.  I was told that an individual may qualify for a healthcare subsidy based on income. My father retired at the age of 62. He receives monthly Social Security benefits that total $18,768 at the end of the year. According to what I have […]

Affordable Care Act: COBRA too expensive, what to do

“My wife is 62 years old and has been unemployed for nearly three months.  She went from full time, to medical leave and then to being unemployed.  She has been waiting to see if she is able to draw unemployment while she looks for a job.  So, she is currently earning no income and my […]

Affordable Care Act: Employer cannot pay for Exchange plan

“Can my employer subsidize the cost of insurance purchased through the California Exchange?“ West Coast Raisin   Dear West Coast Raisin,  The answer is kind of yes, kind of no.  Let me explain. Yes . . . Your employer can pay you whatever he wants to.  He can calculate it any way that makes sense […]

Affordable Care Act: How to estimate income for subsidies

“In order for an individual to receive a subsidy which income is relevant, that of 2013 or of 2014?” New Yorker  Dear New Yorker, You want to estimate your 2014 income, when you are applying for government subsidies to pay for your health plan.  The insurance marketplace uses Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI). Here is […]

Affordable Care Act: Some low-income folks will stay uninsured

“I’m 59 years old and was in a training program for older workers Title V. It ended October 4 2013. The only income I have is food stamps. How do I get health insurance?”    Wondering in Tennessee Dear Wondering in Tennessee, Sorry to say, the answer is you probably won’t get health insurance.  Tennessee is […]

Affordable Care Act: How to find good info about options

“I am a self-employed person. How can I make the most informed decision about medical insurance policies?  Are there any no-bullshit resources I can use to educate myself?” Just The Facts Ma’am  Dear Just The Facts Ma’am, In theory, the exchanges should be showing you apples-to-apples comparisons of the various plan options. There is a […]

Obamacare: Catholic group can skip birth control benefit, court decides

“Can I get a health insurance plan that does not cover birth control?  I’m Catholic and do not want my money going for something that I disagree with. “ Praying in the Midwest Dear Praying in the Midwest, Health reform made birth control a “preventive” benefit, and therefore required health plans to cover it.  Catholic […]

Affordable Care Act: Getting help from navigators and insurance agents

“Is there a downside of going with a Covered California Insurance Agent to help you choose your health plan and get you through the enrollment process?”   Surfer Dude Needs Help   Dear Surfer Dude Needs Help,  Covered California does not employ insurance agents. Their staff is navigators or enrollment assistants, not insurance agents. If […]