We have a question from mchuggett: "what income do you use if you are retired?"
One of our readers, lkamala, has a follow-up question: "I continue with my earlier question--LPR above 65years -less than 5 years of permanent residency--not working--income below 100% poverty level and not needed to file tax .returns --wish to know particularly whether tax credit/subsidies can be got considering age(above 65) and income below 100% FPL.Should the income level be between 100 to 400 % and age be less than 65 for government subsidies?"
Even though you are above age 65, if you do not qualify for either Medicare or Medicaid, you can apply for coverage in the exchange/marketplace. Generally, subsidies are only available to people between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level, but there is an exception for legal immigrants who do not qualify for Medicaid because they have not been in the country for 5 years. So, based on your income and legal residency status, you should qualify for a premium subsidy to purchase a private policy on the exchange/marketplace.
Hi Angie, in the eyes of the law it sounds like you're still married. In that case it would be yours and your husband's income that will be considered when determining whether you qualify for a subsidy to help cover the cost of health insurance purchased through the Marketplace.
If you and your children qualify for Medicaid now and are enrolled, it shouldn’t matter if your state is not expanding Medicaid. You should continue to be covered in your state’s Medicaid program.
If she is under 30 she can purchase “catastrophic coverage”. That coverage has relatively low premiums with high deductibles but will provide coverage for serious illnesses or accidents. She can see what plans are available in her area on Healthcare.gov. and click on “See Plans Now” There is no delay to view those plans, she just has to state whether she is seeking individual or family coverage, health or dental coverage and for which state and county she wants information.
If your state has expanded Medicaid she may be eligible for that coverage. If your state has not expanded and she would have been eligible for Medicaid if it had, she would be are to purchase catastrophic coverage even if she is over 30.
New York's exchange seems to be doing fine at this time, as far as we know. Many consumers are very concerned about how well their private information is being protected, which is very understandable. Unfortunately, there is no alternative to signing up for insurance coverage if you want to take advantage of tax credits. Perhaps you would find the process of signing up more comfortable if you worked with a Navigator trained to walk people through the process.
Harry writes in from WA: "My health care premium is going to go up by $150 per month if I choose the bronze plan or $300 per month if I choose the silver. I am already paying $457 per month now with a $2500 deductible and 70/30 copay I do not qualify for any subsidy because between my wife and I we make $67000.00 per year (she is on Disability through Social Security). I do not have an extra $150 to 300 a month to cover this increase so what am I supposed to do... it looks like I am going to just loose my coverage."
Unfortunately, many people like yourself who do not qualify for a tax credit are finding that their insurance costs are rising. Before giving up on coverage, I highly recommend you work with a licensed insurance agent in your area. You can search for coverage outside of the Marketplace, and you will find many more health plan options by doing so. You can look for a licensed agent at the National Association of Health Underwriters: NAHU.com or eHealthinsurance.com
Shawna from CO asks: "I live in Colorado, but will be moving the end of November to TX. What state do I apply in?"
You should apply in the state you will reside in during 2014. If you know the county you are going to live in you can start reviewing you options now on Healthcare.gov, but you will need to wait until you have a new address to actually enroll. If you enroll by December 15th your coverage will begin on January 1, 2014
We received a question from Theresa in CA: "I am a 55 year old widowed mom, I have a 24 year old daughter that is enrolled full time in college. I get me and my daughters medical coverage through my employer, my coverage is paid for by my employer, I pay for my daughters coverage. The premiums have been increasing each year by about 30%. Am I able to qualify for assistance with her premium even though I no longer am able to claim her on my tax return?"
From your description, it does not sound like you would qualify for a subsidy for your daughter because she has access to employer sponsored insurance through your employer. Even though you are paying a lot for her insurance, your employer insurance meets the affordability standard under the ACA because your employer pays the full cost of employee-only coverage. It doesn’t hurt to check with Covered California (www.coveredca.com), California’s health insurance exchange, however, because your daughter may be able to find cheaper, unsubsidized coverage on the exchange.
The site and the processing of the applications is in back log, so while frustrating, it's not surprising that you haven't yet heard. I would give it a little more time and then try calling back. Hold off on applying a second time.
We have a question from Ahmad in FL: "My 19 year old daughter and her baby live with my wife and myself. The kids are covered under Medicaid. My daughter is a full time student. My wife and I do not have insurance coverage. Do we need to claim the kids when we apply or do we not mention them?"
If you claim your daughter and granddaughter as dependents when you file taxes then you will want to include them when entering your information to apply for coverage.
Dinesh in TX writes: "My wife is pregnant, because of which we are not able to find a provider who can cover maternity. Are there any insurance providers who support maternity?"
All health plans offered on the exchange/marketplace and in the individual and small employer marketplace will have to offer maternity care in 2014 as part of the essential health benefits. Insurers used to be able to use pregnancy as a pre-existing condition and deny coverage as a result, but that is no longer allowed under the ACA beginning in January.
To submit a question for our health care reform experts, just click “Make a comment” in the blue bar below. Please know that while we will try to respond to as many people as possible, due to the high volume of questions, we may not be able to respond personally to every question submitted during the live event.