Her income would only be counted as part of your household income if you claim her as a dependent on your taxes. As you probably know, you do not have to qualify as a dependent in order to stay on a parent’s plan.
Yes, there are people around the country ready to help consumers sign up in person. To find organizations in your area, consult LocalHelp.HealthCare.gov.
Regarding your question about SS income, Yes, Social Security benefits must be reported and do count as income when determining if you qualify for a tax subsidy to help cover the cost of health insurance.
You must purchase coverage through the exchange to be eligible for a subsidy. You can estimate your income based on your 2013 income. If during 2014 your circumstances change so your subsidy changes you should inform Healthcare.gov as soon as possible.
Your eligibility for premium subsidies is based on your estimated 2014 income. If your unemployment benefits will be running out soon, you would only include the amount you expect to receive in 2014. If you situation changes during the course of 2014 as a result of a new job or any other changes that affect your income, you will want to let the Marketplace know as soon as possible so they can update your subsidy.
Here's a question from Joanne in CO: "It looks like the federal deadline for Affordable Care is Dec 23rd; but that state-run Marketplaces may have a different deadline. Does Colorado have a different deadline? Are there different website links for 'Federally run Marketplace' and 'Colorado State run Marketplace'?"
California's Medicaid program, called Medi-Cal is expanding. You'll want to go through Covered California to shop for plans (CoveredCA.com). Both your income (if you receive Social Security benefits) and your wife's income will be counted when determining whether she qualifies for Medi-Cal or a subsidy.
Maria, if you will no longer be claiming your 23 year old on your taxes, she would use her 2014 estimated income to apply for a subsidy. You are correct that the remainder of the family would be a family of three and would use the household income to see if you qualify for a subsidy.
Here's a question from Richard in IL: I am currently on Cobra insurance because no one would take me with Diabetes. Can I now get affordable insurance?
You will now have some options for health insurance coverage. You can stay on Cobra coverage if you like. You can enroll in health insurance through the exchange in your state or you can purchase individual coverage outside of the exchange. In all cases your diabetes will not affect the availability of coverage or the premium.
You’ll have to decide what is affordable for you. You may be eligible for a subsidy if you purchase coverage through the health insurance marketplace. If you are a single individual you will be eligible for a subsidy if your income is between 11,500 and $46,000. To see if you are eligible for a subsidy go to www.healthcare.gov.
And a question from Donna in NJ: "Since my daughter has not been found a job over the last three plus years, I claimed her on my tax refund for the year 2012. However, in July 2013, my doctors put me out on permanent disability. She is 32 years old. Am I responsible for getting and paying for her health care? I have not received my SSDI since July and cannot afford this. If I am responsible, what are my options?"
The person who claims another individual as a dependent for federal income tax purposes is responsible for making the payment if the dependent does not have coverage or an exemption. But it sounds like both of you may be exempt based on the description of your income. If you earn too little to file income taxes or can’t find a health plan that costs less than 8% of your household income, you won’t be on the hook for the penalty.
I believe Illinois has expanded its Medicaid program so there is not a gap in coverage that exists in some other states. The gap you are referring to in other states that have not expanded their Medicaid programs is between about $11,500 and $15,900 for a family of one.
To determine if you are eligible for a subsidy you can use your adjusted gross income from 2013. You can get a general idea if you are eligible for a subsidy and the amount by going to www.healthcare.gov and clicking on “see if I can lower costs” You do not need to apply to get that information
Here's a question from Marta in NY: "I am undocumented, haven't had health insurance since I came to the US, relied on local hospital clinic for low income and uninsured when I had health issues. What does this reform mean for me? Am I eligible to sign up for any plan? What will happen to me if I have an emergency/health issue? Will hospitals admit me?"
Unfortunately in your case, health reform does not extend to undocumented immigrants. You are prohibited from purchasing health insurance from the state marketplaces/exchanges and you are also ineligible for Medicaid. Many non-profit clinics that you have used in the past will continue to provide care. In an emergency, hospitals are required to screen and stabilize your condition without asking about your ability to pay. Whether you will be admitted to a hospital if necessary will vary on a case by case basis.
Joan, that is true. If your current plan is good into 2014 and you're happy with it, you may wish to stay put and give yourself some time to evaluate your new options next year. Although the types of plans being offered vary, generally, HSA plans are being sold through the exchanges. You'll need to shop your options to see what's available in your state.