2018 ACA rates now live....

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dm200
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Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Post by dm200 » Sat Oct 28, 2017 3:43 pm

Yes - very scary to be on your own for insurance before Medicare. Complicated story - but my wife and I had huge health insurance monthly costs for premiums before Medicare (for me) and Obamacare (for her). Now we are noth on Medicare. For those not yet Medicare eligible - we seem to be hading back to these very high costs and some reductions on coverage that have already started.

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MichaelRpdx
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Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Post by MichaelRpdx » Sat Oct 28, 2017 5:20 pm

MP123 wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2017 3:10 pm
MichaelRpdx wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2017 2:44 pm
ray.james wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 5:06 pm
This thread has been very disheartening. For someone who plans on early retirement it is downright frightening to do so.
As a new retiree I can state the scares are no worse than those provided via market volatility. If you can manage your income to stay under 400% of the federal poverty level, for 2017 that was $64,960 for a couple, you can control your health insurance costs.
But if you accidentally make $10 more than the $64,960 you expected you have to pay $20,000/yr in unsubsidized health care insurance for two people.

Seems pretty crazy to me. Something as simple as a slightly larger capital gain distribution than you expected might catapult you into the unsubsidized area.
If you're that close to the threshold you need to manage your income better. Note, the difference is $12,924, not $20,000
I'll admit the threshold is very abrupt.
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michaeljc70
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Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Post by michaeljc70 » Sat Oct 28, 2017 6:41 pm

MichaelRpdx wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2017 2:34 pm
magellan wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2017 9:42 am
IMO, for many early retirees the biggest risk from Obamacare isn't high premiums, it's the crappy medicaid-like provider networks that have taken over individual markets around the country.

It gets worse each year and now there are many markets where you can't buy a policy that gives you access to top tier providers, either on or off the exchange.
Reviewing plans for 97202 area I find I can get coverage for any doctor or provider group I care to specify. No "crappy medicaid-like" networks here.
You are lucky. In Chicago, on the most expensive plan which is over $700 for a 47 year old, the following hospitals, which I would consider the best here, are not in network: University of Chicago, Northwestern, Rush Presbyterian.

2015
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Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Post by 2015 » Sun Oct 29, 2017 8:17 am

Here's a good explanation of how loss of CSR's are affecting 2018 premiums with an embedded link to state-by-state and plan strategies:

https://kff.org/health-reform/issue ... -premiums/

SrGrumpy
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Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Post by SrGrumpy » Sun Oct 29, 2017 9:49 am

The WSJ has a big story about the increased availability of zero-premium ACA plans, although its reference to "free health insurance" is predictably getting ripped in the comments. I think this might entice me to enter the ACA maze since it is essentially catastrophe insurance, which is all I really need as a reasonably healthy 49-year-old who strikes cash deals with my eager health providers. Unless I'm missing something?

Insurers selling Affordable Care Act plans have a compelling new pitch: free health insurance.

When sales of plans on the law’s exchanges begin Nov. 1, a growing number of consumers around the country will be able to get coverage for 2018 without paying any monthly premium, according to health insurers and an analysis of newly available federal data.

In nearly all of the 2,722 counties included in the data, some consumers will be able to obtain free health insurance because they qualify for larger federal premium subsidies that cover the full cost of a plan, according to the new analysis.


https://wsj.com/articles/more-aca-p ... 1509096602

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MichaelRpdx
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Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Post by MichaelRpdx » Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:02 am

SrGrumpy wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 9:49 am
The WSJ has a big story about the increased availability of zero-premium ACA plans, although its reference to "free health insurance" is predictably getting ripped in the comments. I think this might entice me to enter the ACA maze since it is essentially catastrophe insurance, which is all I really need as a reasonably healthy 49-year-old who strikes cash deals with my eager health providers. Unless I'm missing something?
You understand correctly. Bronze plans are effectively catastrophic coverage. in my area their deductibles are $10,000 to $14,700. If your MAGI is under the $64,960 threshold premiums are very low. For an example: MAGI of $42,000 for 60 year old couple several bronze plans are under $5/month.
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dm200
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Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Post by dm200 » Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:04 am

Bronze plans are effectively catastrophic coverage. in my area their deductibles are $10,000 to $14,700. If your MAGI is under the $64,960 threshold premiums are very low. For an example: MAGI of $42,000 for 60 year old couple several bronze plans are under $5/month.
Yes, but aren't some things (such as certain office visits, annual health assessments, vaccinations, etc.) in some plans low cost (not need to satisfy deductible) for these plans (perhaps in an HMO?)

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Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Post by SrGrumpy » Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:31 am

MichaelRpdx wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:02 am
SrGrumpy wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 9:49 am
The WSJ has a big story about the increased availability of zero-premium ACA plans, although its reference to "free health insurance" is predictably getting ripped in the comments. I think this might entice me to enter the ACA maze since it is essentially catastrophe insurance, which is all I really need as a reasonably healthy 49-year-old who strikes cash deals with my eager health providers. Unless I'm missing something?
You understand correctly. Bronze plans are effectively catastrophic coverage. in my area their deductibles are $10,000 to $14,700. If your MAGI is under the $64,960 threshold premiums are very low. For an example: MAGI of $42,000 for 60 year old couple several bronze plans are under $5/month.
My income will probably be under $20,000 this year. Like @Susa --
susa wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 1:33 pm
... [W]e simply use ACA to keep within the law but use none of its services. When and if we need a physician, we pay cash and use our own doctors.]
-- my utilization will hopefully be non-existent.

ProdigalSon
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Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Post by ProdigalSon » Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:39 am

munemaker wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 1:02 pm
MP123 wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 12:38 pm
"Mocking up" official tax forms sounds dangerously close to fraud. Maybe you can clarify what you mean?
I don't think there should be a problem if the tax forms are clearly identified as 2018 estimates. ACA asks for proof though, and I don't know if an estimate would qualify as proof. It is hard to prove you are going to make an IRA deposit or withdrawal or receive a stock dividend or whatever.

I am curious how others have done this.
Munemaker, this past January I was required to send Proof of Income to the MA Health Exchange to document my estimated income for 2017. I provided a complete copy of my 2015 federal tax return (2016 return was not yet completed) showing income consisting of salary, interest, dividends and capital gains at a level WAY above that required to qualify for subsidies, and a 1-page document detailing in a few bullet points how my 2017 income would differ from 2015 (no salary, interest and dividends approximately the same as 2015, and capital gains at a level of my choosing) at a level qualifying for subsidies. This was accepted as proof of income without questions.

I expect that when I file my return for this year it will demonstrate that my estimate was very accurate. :D

Interestingly on the exchange this month, preparing my estimate for next year, I've found that if I list the same sources of income as last year's estimate then I am not required to provide proof of income. If I list different income sources then I am required to send proof of income despite listing the same total amount of income in both cases, an amount slightly more than last year's estimate. I was trying to provide greater accuracy but since the outcome is the same either way I've decided to abandon that project.

I hope this is helpful to you and others.

munemaker
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Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Post by munemaker » Sun Oct 29, 2017 1:57 pm

ProdigalSon wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:39 am
munemaker wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 1:02 pm
MP123 wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 12:38 pm
"Mocking up" official tax forms sounds dangerously close to fraud. Maybe you can clarify what you mean?
I don't think there should be a problem if the tax forms are clearly identified as 2018 estimates. ACA asks for proof though, and I don't know if an estimate would qualify as proof. It is hard to prove you are going to make an IRA deposit or withdrawal or receive a stock dividend or whatever.

I am curious how others have done this.
Munemaker, this past January I was required to send Proof of Income to the MA Health Exchange to document my estimated income for 2017. I provided a complete copy of my 2015 federal tax return (2016 return was not yet completed) showing income consisting of salary, interest, dividends and capital gains at a level WAY above that required to qualify for subsidies, and a 1-page document detailing in a few bullet points how my 2017 income would differ from 2015 (no salary, interest and dividends approximately the same as 2015, and capital gains at a level of my choosing) at a level qualifying for subsidies. This was accepted as proof of income without questions.

I expect that when I file my return for this year it will demonstrate that my estimate was very accurate. :D

Interestingly on the exchange this month, preparing my estimate for next year, I've found that if I list the same sources of income as last year's estimate then I am not required to provide proof of income. If I list different income sources then I am required to send proof of income despite listing the same total amount of income in both cases, an amount slightly more than last year's estimate. I was trying to provide greater accuracy but since the outcome is the same either way I've decided to abandon that project.

I hope this is helpful to you and others.
Very helpful. I am just working on this now.

Thanks!

munemaker
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Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Post by munemaker » Sun Oct 29, 2017 2:01 pm

SrGrumpy wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:31 am

My income will probably be under $20,000 this year. Like @Susa --
Pretty sure you can not buy ObamaCare with a MAGI of $20,000. They will push you toward Medicaid.

munemaker
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Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Post by munemaker » Sun Oct 29, 2017 2:04 pm

SrGrumpy wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:31 am

susa wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 1:33 pm
... [W]e simply use ACA to keep within the law but use none of its services. When and if we need a physician, we pay cash and use our own doctors.]
-- my utilization will hopefully be non-existent.
Yes, you will pay cash and use your own doctors unless you find out you are seriously injured in a car crash or find out you have stage 3 cancer or some other catastrophe. So you do have insurance for catastrophes, not just to keep within the law. That's a good thing!

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Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Post by 2015 » Sun Oct 29, 2017 2:04 pm

For those under CoveredCA and able to manipulate MAGI, I've read CoveredCA will only request additional proof of income if the income they have doesn't match with their records. In that event, the CoveredCA website lists the following proof of income sources for "Unearned Income":
Unearned Income

Annuity statements.
Statements of pension distribution from any government or private source.
Prizes, settlements, and awards, including alimony received and court-ordered awards letters.
Proof of taxable gifts and contributions.
Proof of taxable scholarships or grants.
Proof of inheritances in cash or property.
Proof of strike pay and other benefits from unions.
Sales receipts or other proof of money received from the sale, exchange or replacement of things the person owns.
Interests and dividends income statement.
Royalty or residual income statement or 1099-MISC.
Letter, deposit, or other proof of deferred compensation payments.
Social Security Administration Statements (Social Security Benefits Letter).
Retirement, Survivors Disability Insurance (RSDI), Social Security Retirement, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).
It must contain first and last name, benefit amount, and frequency of pay.
Unemployment Benefits Letter.
It must contain the person’s first and last name, source/agency, weekly benefits amount, and duration (start and end date, if applicable).
Attestation of Income, No Documentation Available (PDF).

I'm assuming by "Income and Dividends Income Statement" they mean prior year 1099-B, 1099-Div, and 1099-R (for roth conversion), but if one's income in the coming year is going to be different, I don't see how that will help. Has anyone used the last document with success, "Attestation of Income, No Documentation Available"?

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MichaelRpdx
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Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Post by MichaelRpdx » Sun Oct 29, 2017 2:37 pm

dm200 wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:04 am
Bronze plans are effectively catastrophic coverage. in my area their deductibles are $10,000 to $14,700. If your MAGI is under the $64,960 threshold premiums are very low. For an example: MAGI of $42,000 for 60 year old couple several bronze plans are under $5/month.
Yes, but aren't some things (such as certain office visits, annual health assessments, vaccinations, etc.) in some plans low cost (not need to satisfy deductible) for these plans (perhaps in an HMO?)
Yes, preventative care is covered. For instance, for those over 50 that could include a colonoscopy.
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BarbK
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Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Post by BarbK » Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:09 pm

deanbrew wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:00 pm
BarbK wrote:
Has anyone applied on exchange but not take the subsidy until they did their taxes?
I've done exactly that the past two years. My wife and I are both self employed, and we have rental properties, so we don't know what our gross income, expenses and MAGI will be 13 months in advance. So, we pay the full premiums, taking money from investments if necessary, and then recover the tax credits when we file our taxes.

It's not easy to do if you don't have somewhere to pull the money from to pay the high premium, but it seems like the best option for us.
That's so good to know; Just to clarify, is this correct in that no income information is provided until you do your tax return; even if you file for an extension? We have always bought the policy on the exchange but never qualified for a subsidy before (zero coupon municipal bonds).

2018 definitely looks like we will qualify for a subsidy since >50% of the zero muni bonds have matured in 2016/2017.

Can someone check if I am looking at this correctly?

Retired, ages 60, 64 will be 61,65 (medicare) for 2018 -

Total calculated 2018 subsidy: ~5K, no Roth conversions

or

$75K Roth conversions (top of the 15% bracket). At age 70 when my husband has RMDs, we will be in the 25% tax bracket.
We have converted $75K annually since 2015.
Now that we will most likely qualify for a $5K subsidy, aren't we saving $7500 by doing the Roth Conversions.
Future 25% tax on $75K = $18,750
Current 15% tax on $75K = $11250

Difference $7500

To me it seems like it is more advantageous to forgo the subsidy and continue with the Roth Conversions, but I might be misinterpreting something too.

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Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Post by michaeljc70 » Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:17 pm

munemaker wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 2:01 pm
SrGrumpy wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:31 am

My income will probably be under $20,000 this year. Like @Susa --
Pretty sure you can not buy ObamaCare with a MAGI of $20,000. They will push you toward Medicaid.
It is state dependent. Some states you cannot go on Medicaid if you are single with no kids even if you have no income.

According to this (https://kff.org/medicaid/fact-sheet ... -and-chip/) 18 states offer no coverage for single people without dependents regardless of income.

SrGrumpy
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Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Post by SrGrumpy » Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:25 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:17 pm
munemaker wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 2:01 pm
SrGrumpy wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:31 am

My income will probably be under $20,000 this year. Like @Susa --
Pretty sure you can not buy ObamaCare with a MAGI of $20,000. They will push you toward Medicaid.
It is state dependent. Some states you cannot go on Medicaid if you are single with no kids even if you have no income.
California is pushing me towards MediCal, though I need to steel myself for the application process.

rrppve
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Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Post by rrppve » Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:09 pm

SrGrumpy wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:25 pm
California is pushing me towards MediCal, though I need to steel myself for the application process.
If you want MediCal, that's great. Costs will be very low, but you will have almost no choice of doctors.
If you want to get heavily subsidized ACA coverage, estimate your income on the high side. You won't be penalized for overestimating income.

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Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Post by deanbrew » Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:39 am

BarbK wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:09 pm
That's so good to know; Just to clarify, is this correct in that no income information is provided until you do your tax return; even if you file for an extension? We have always bought the policy on the exchange but never qualified for a subsidy before (zero coupon municipal bonds).
I haven't filed for an extension, but I doubt that would change anything. And, yes, I provide no income information or estimates at all. I just wait until I file my taxes and my accountant prepares the proper forms and I find out what my tax credit is. On IRS Form 8962, you can see the six columns showing monthly premium and tax credit data. My accountant left Column F blank, showing that I received no "monthly advance payment of PTC (premium tax credits)", and I received the total amount as a tax credit on this form and on Line 69 of my 1040.
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Spirit Rider
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Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Post by Spirit Rider » Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:41 am

You can get your ACA premium tax credit as a refund, but I'm not sure why you would want to give the government a tax free loan. Just be aware that if your MAGI will be < 250%, you can not get the Cost Sharing Reduction retroactively.

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Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Post by michaeljc70 » Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:00 pm

Though I could probably imagine a scenario, I am curious how someone that is retired early not have enough income to stay off Medicaid? What do you live off?

willift
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Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Post by willift » Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:28 pm

A number of income sources are potentially available. Taxable Brokerage Accounts can produce a lot of spendable dollars that don't increase your MAGI beyond Poverty thresholds. ROTH IRA dollars could add to that spendable bucket of money. Plan old savings accounts and IRA withdrawals properly calculated could keep somebody within that Medicaid range.

Spendable Income and MAGI are not the samething

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Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Post by Spirit Rider » Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:31 pm

Cash, CDs, munis, capital loss carry overs, Roths, etc... I'm doing the last three, so I have to take IRA withdrawals to get above 138% FPL.

In my state, the state has an ACA waiver to buy fully subsidized CSR Silver plans off of the exchange for Medicaid enrollees. So you can get a first class health insurance plan from a top tier carrier with excellent provider networks. I could keep all my medical providers with Medicaid.

So even though I could enroll in Medicaid with hardly a hitch. I just couldn't bring myself to claim that I couldn't afford the little I do pay after subsidy and cost sharing. Besides, leaving all behavoral finance aside, I just couldn't see not taking tax-deferred distributions when they are tax-free.

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Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Post by curmudgeon » Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:32 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:00 pm
Though I could probably imagine a scenario, I am curious how someone that is retired early not have enough income to stay off Medicaid? What do you live off?
Depends on your asset allocation and mix of taxable and tax-deferred investments. Given the current low interest rates, a big pile of cash held in bonds and CDs doesn't generate much income. If you are spending down cash from taxable investment account, while deferring SS and any IRA withdrawals, you may not have a very high MAGI. Having a paid-off house makes it easier because it reduces the cash flow needs for rent or house payment.

Take someone who owns a house in a HCOL area. They have a $1M IRA, not much in taxable, and retire at 55. They sell the house for $1.5M, and buy in a lower-cost area for $500K. They take the remaining $1M from the house, stash it in the bank, and spend $100K per year for the next 10 years. Then they claim SS and start tapping the IRA. Married vs single has an effect, as does whether your state did medicaid expansion.

Having a pension, needing to tap an IRA for funds, or having most of your taxable investments with lots of cap gains would make for a much higher MAGI to achieve the same lifestyle.

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Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Post by deanbrew » Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:37 pm

Spirit Rider wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:41 am
You can get your ACA premium tax credit as a refund, but I'm not sure why you would want to give the government a tax free loan. Just be aware that if your MAGI will be < 250%, you can not get the Cost Sharing Reduction retroactively.
That's good to keep in mind. We were at 262% in 2015, and expect it to be higher in 2016. I'll have to give some thought to 2018, but as I said, I have a lot of trouble trying to predict the future with our businesses, rental properties and kids' job/earnings situations. Both kids will hopefully change from part time to full time jobs and get their own insurance sometime in 2018, as well, but I can't predict when that will happen. We might also be selling some property next year, which could (hopefully) result in some amount of capital gains. Figuring all of this out in advance and picking a plan feels like I'm trying to hit a moving target while blindfolded and spun around.

Worrying about the CSRs will only come into play if congress does something to restore the CSRs, right? Aren't these subsidies not being paid/funded as of now?
Last edited by deanbrew on Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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furikake
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Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Post by furikake » Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:41 pm

How do you guys get your MAGI so low to qualify for subsidy? Is there a trick?

Individual plans suck so much in my area, I want to keep my group plan as long as I can...

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Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Post by Spirit Rider » Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:51 pm

deanbrew wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:37 pm
Worrying about the CSRs will only come into play if congress does something to restore the CSRs, right? Aren't these subsidies not being paid/funded as of now?
The insurance companies are required to provide CSRs regardless.

All this court decision and the Trump Administration agreeing to comply does is change who pays. Now instead of the federal government, it will be the insurances companies who pay. Except, it is really the rate payers who will end up paying.

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deanbrew
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Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Post by deanbrew » Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:51 pm

furikake wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:41 pm
How do you guys get your MAGI so low to qualify for subsidy? Is there a trick?

Individual plans suck so much in my area, I want to keep my group plan as long as I can...
The biggest thing I did in 2016 was change my retirement plan from a SEP-IRA to a Solo 401k and plow about four times as much into my pension plan than I had been. Luckily, I have the funds in a taxable account to do this, as that contribution lowered my MAGI by that amount. I plan to do the same in 2017 and 2018, I guess.
"The course of history shows that as the government grows, liberty decreases." Thomas Jefferson

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deanbrew
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Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Post by deanbrew » Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:52 pm

Spirit Rider wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:51 pm
The insurance companies are required to provide CSRs regardless.

All this court decision and the Trump Administration agreeing to comply does is change who pays. Now instead of the federal government, it will be the insurances companies who pay. Except, it is really the rate payers who will end up paying.
Oh, OK, good to know. I still don't think I'll be under 250% in 2017, but have no idea about 2018.
"The course of history shows that as the government grows, liberty decreases." Thomas Jefferson

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Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Post by Spirit Rider » Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:00 pm

Here is a little secret. Well not really a secret, but not everyone knows. You have to pay back advanced premium credits, but you don't have to pay back cost sharing reductions.

So if you think in good conscience it is reasonable that you could be under 250%, just make an estimate under 250%.

SrGrumpy
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Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Post by SrGrumpy » Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:04 pm

rrppve wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:09 pm
SrGrumpy wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:25 pm
California is pushing me towards MediCal, though I need to steel myself for the application process.
If you want MediCal, that's great. Costs will be very low, but you will have almost no choice of doctors.
If you want to get heavily subsidized ACA coverage, estimate your income on the high side. You won't be penalized for overestimating income.
Good to know. I will keep my own doctors, and my main one doesn't take insurance anyway. MediCal is just for emergency/catastrophe. I will also run the math on heavily subsidized ACA, thanks!

michaeljc70
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Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Post by michaeljc70 » Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:27 pm

curmudgeon wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:32 pm
michaeljc70 wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:00 pm
Though I could probably imagine a scenario, I am curious how someone that is retired early not have enough income to stay off Medicaid? What do you live off?
Depends on your asset allocation and mix of taxable and tax-deferred investments. Given the current low interest rates, a big pile of cash held in bonds and CDs doesn't generate much income. If you are spending down cash from taxable investment account, while deferring SS and any IRA withdrawals, you may not have a very high MAGI. Having a paid-off house makes it easier because it reduces the cash flow needs for rent or house payment.

Take someone who owns a house in a HCOL area. They have a $1M IRA, not much in taxable, and retire at 55. They sell the house for $1.5M, and buy in a lower-cost area for $500K. They take the remaining $1M from the house, stash it in the bank, and spend $100K per year for the next 10 years. Then they claim SS and start tapping the IRA. Married vs single has an effect, as does whether your state did medicaid expansion.

Having a pension, needing to tap an IRA for funds, or having most of your taxable investments with lots of cap gains would make for a much higher MAGI to achieve the same lifestyle.
Even at 2% the interest on $1M would be 20k...unless you are keeping it in a checking account or specifically looking for low rate accounts. I suppose toward the end of the 10 years, not much would be left of the taxable account keeping income low. However, at 59 1/2 (or earlier using equal pmts rule), you could get some income drawing from the IRA.

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Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Post by curmudgeon » Mon Oct 30, 2017 7:04 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:27 pm
curmudgeon wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:32 pm
michaeljc70 wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:00 pm
Though I could probably imagine a scenario, I am curious how someone that is retired early not have enough income to stay off Medicaid? What do you live off?
Take someone who owns a house in a HCOL area. They have a $1M IRA, not much in taxable, and retire at 55. They sell the house for $1.5M, and buy in a lower-cost area for $500K. They take the remaining $1M from the house, stash it in the bank, and spend $100K per year for the next 10 years. Then they claim SS and start tapping the IRA. Married vs single has an effect, as does whether your state did medicaid expansion.
Even at 2% the interest on $1M would be 20k...unless you are keeping it in a checking account or specifically looking for low rate accounts. I suppose toward the end of the 10 years, not much would be left of the taxable account keeping income low. However, at 59 1/2 (or earlier using equal pmts rule), you could get some income drawing from the IRA.
For a couple, $20K keeps you under the medicaid limit in many states. Taking money from the IRA, though, will generate taxable income and add to MAGI, and so would likely push you above the limit.

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Watty
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Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Post by Watty » Mon Oct 30, 2017 7:32 pm

furikake wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:41 pm
How do you guys get your MAGI so low to qualify for subsidy? Is there a trick?

Individual plans suck so much in my area, I want to keep my group plan as long as I can...
It is a lot different after retirement since you only have to juggle your numbers until you reach 65 and can start Medicare.

One thing that helps in retirement is to have a paid off house since that lowers your income needs a lot.

It also helps to not live in a high cost of living area.

I only have four years until I can get Medicare and one option I am considering would be to get a home equity loan if I need to bring my income some to get the subsidy. In some situations the interest paid on the home equity loan would be a lot less than the subsidy you could get.

Spirit Rider
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Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Post by Spirit Rider » Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:05 pm

SrGrumpy wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:04 pm
rrppve wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:09 pm
If you want MediCal, that's great. Costs will be very low, but you will have almost no choice of doctors.
If you want to get heavily subsidized ACA coverage, estimate your income on the high side. You won't be penalized for overestimating income.
Good to know. I will keep my own doctors, and my main one doesn't take insurance anyway. MediCal is just for emergency/catastrophe. I will also run the math on heavily subsidized ACA, thanks![/quote]
Actually, you are better off estimating your income on the low side. This is because you can get additional premium tax credits refunded after the fact, but you can not get cost sharing reductions retroactively. While excess cost sharing does not need to be paid back.

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magellan
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Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Post by magellan » Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:16 pm

I was just experimenting with last year's Turbo Tax to better understand MAGI and qualifying for the premium tax credit.

From form 1040, starting on line 25, below are some of the allowed adjustments to gross income that are used to generate AGI:
1) HSA contributions
2) SEP, SIMPLE, IRA contributions
3) if self employed - 1/2 Self employment tax
4) if self employed - health insurance premiums paid
5) early withdrawal penalty on savings

Numbers 1 and 4 are particularly interesting.

If you're just over the limit for qualifying for the premium tax credit, you may be able to push yourself under by getting an HSA plan and making an HSA contribution.

If you're self employed, you could go in a different direction and lower your AGI by choosing the most expensive platinum plan. Early retirees doing part time work and close to the PTC limit might be better off working as a 1099 contractor rather than an employee if that's possible (and legal).

munemaker
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Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Post by munemaker » Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:13 pm

Spirit Rider wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:00 pm
Here is a little secret. Well not really a secret, but not everyone knows. You have to pay back advanced premium credits, but you don't have to pay back cost sharing reductions.

So if you think in good conscience it is reasonable that you could be under 250%, just make an estimate under 250%.
Yes, definitely want to err on the low side! That's what I am doing.

munemaker
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Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Post by munemaker » Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:17 pm

Spirit Rider wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:51 pm
deanbrew wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:37 pm
Worrying about the CSRs will only come into play if congress does something to restore the CSRs, right? Aren't these subsidies not being paid/funded as of now?
The insurance companies are required to provide CSRs regardless.

All this court decision and the Trump Administration agreeing to comply does is change who pays. Now instead of the federal government, it will be the insurances companies who pay. Except, it is really the rate payers who will end up paying.
Naw, not the rate payers, at least not in PA. Insurance companies jacked up the rate of silver plans bought on the exchange. The result is the government paying larger subsidies to the insurance companies. And the unsubsidized silver plan buyers? They will buy silver plans off of the exhange where the rates are not jacked up. So the taxpayer pays the difference, not the rate payers.

michaeljc70
Posts: 1955
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Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Post by michaeljc70 » Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:23 pm

munemaker wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:17 pm
Spirit Rider wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:51 pm
deanbrew wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:37 pm
Worrying about the CSRs will only come into play if congress does something to restore the CSRs, right? Aren't these subsidies not being paid/funded as of now?
The insurance companies are required to provide CSRs regardless.

All this court decision and the Trump Administration agreeing to comply does is change who pays. Now instead of the federal government, it will be the insurances companies who pay. Except, it is really the rate payers who will end up paying.
Naw, not the rate payers, at least not in PA. Insurance companies jacked up the rate of silver plans bought on the exchange. The result is the government paying larger subsidies to the insurance companies. And the unsubsidized silver plan buyers? They will buy silver plans off of the exhange where the rates are not jacked up. So the taxpayer pays the difference, not the rate payers.
All the plans on the exchange are not offered off the exchange and vice versa. But where they are, I agree. If they don't offer the same plan, they will most likely pick another similar plan off the exchange if available.

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deanbrew
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Location: The Keystone State

Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Post by deanbrew » Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:37 pm

munemaker wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:17 pm
Spirit Rider wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:51 pm
deanbrew wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:37 pm
Worrying about the CSRs will only come into play if congress does something to restore the CSRs, right? Aren't these subsidies not being paid/funded as of now?
The insurance companies are required to provide CSRs regardless.

All this court decision and the Trump Administration agreeing to comply does is change who pays. Now instead of the federal government, it will be the insurances companies who pay. Except, it is really the rate payers who will end up paying.
Naw, not the rate payers, at least not in PA. Insurance companies jacked up the rate of silver plans bought on the exchange. The result is the government paying larger subsidies to the insurance companies. And the unsubsidized silver plan buyers? They will buy silver plans off of the exhange where the rates are not jacked up. So the taxpayer pays the difference, not the rate payers.
I tried to look up UPMC off-exchange plans, but couldn't find any that showed different (lower) rates than on the exchange. But I will try again after today when the sign up period starts.
"The course of history shows that as the government grows, liberty decreases." Thomas Jefferson

munemaker
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Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Post by munemaker » Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:45 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:23 pm
munemaker wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:17 pm
Spirit Rider wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:51 pm
deanbrew wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:37 pm
Worrying about the CSRs will only come into play if congress does something to restore the CSRs, right? Aren't these subsidies not being paid/funded as of now?
The insurance companies are required to provide CSRs regardless.

All this court decision and the Trump Administration agreeing to comply does is change who pays. Now instead of the federal government, it will be the insurances companies who pay. Except, it is really the rate payers who will end up paying.
Naw, not the rate payers, at least not in PA. Insurance companies jacked up the rate of silver plans bought on the exchange. The result is the government paying larger subsidies to the insurance companies. And the unsubsidized silver plan buyers? They will buy silver plans off of the exhange where the rates are not jacked up. So the taxpayer pays the difference, not the rate payers.
All the plans on the exchange are not offered off the exchange and vice versa. But where they are, I agree. If they don't offer the same plan, they will most likely pick another similar plan off the exchange if available.
But let's not forget who is really shouldering the cost of Obamacare subsidies:

https://atr.org/full-list-ACA-tax-hikes-a6996

michaeljc70
Posts: 1955
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Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Post by michaeljc70 » Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:53 pm

munemaker wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:45 pm
michaeljc70 wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:23 pm
munemaker wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:17 pm
Spirit Rider wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:51 pm
deanbrew wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:37 pm
Worrying about the CSRs will only come into play if congress does something to restore the CSRs, right? Aren't these subsidies not being paid/funded as of now?
The insurance companies are required to provide CSRs regardless.

All this court decision and the Trump Administration agreeing to comply does is change who pays. Now instead of the federal government, it will be the insurances companies who pay. Except, it is really the rate payers who will end up paying.
Naw, not the rate payers, at least not in PA. Insurance companies jacked up the rate of silver plans bought on the exchange. The result is the government paying larger subsidies to the insurance companies. And the unsubsidized silver plan buyers? They will buy silver plans off of the exhange where the rates are not jacked up. So the taxpayer pays the difference, not the rate payers.
All the plans on the exchange are not offered off the exchange and vice versa. But where they are, I agree. If they don't offer the same plan, they will most likely pick another similar plan off the exchange if available.
But let's not forget who is really shouldering the cost of Obamacare subsidies:

https://atr.org/full-list-ACA-tax-hikes-a6996
That ignores those that are younger/healthier and get no subsidy.....

munemaker
Posts: 2096
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Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Post by munemaker » Tue Oct 31, 2017 6:15 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:53 pm
munemaker wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:45 pm
michaeljc70 wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:23 pm
munemaker wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:17 pm
Spirit Rider wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:51 pm

The insurance companies are required to provide CSRs regardless.

All this court decision and the Trump Administration agreeing to comply does is change who pays. Now instead of the federal government, it will be the insurances companies who pay. Except, it is really the rate payers who will end up paying.
Naw, not the rate payers, at least not in PA. Insurance companies jacked up the rate of silver plans bought on the exchange. The result is the government paying larger subsidies to the insurance companies. And the unsubsidized silver plan buyers? They will buy silver plans off of the exhange where the rates are not jacked up. So the taxpayer pays the difference, not the rate payers.
All the plans on the exchange are not offered off the exchange and vice versa. But where they are, I agree. If they don't offer the same plan, they will most likely pick another similar plan off the exchange if available.
But let's not forget who is really shouldering the cost of Obamacare subsidies:

https://atr.org/full-list-ACA-tax-hikes-a6996
That ignores those that are younger/healthier and get no subsidy.....
The whole program is a house of subsidies:
- Younger subsidizing the older.
- Wealthier subsidizing the poorer.
- Those past child bearing age subsidizing those who are pregnant.
- Childless couples subsidizing those with children.
- Employer insurance plans subsidizing individuals.
- Medical device manufacturers subsidizing the insured.
- Medicare cuts subsidizing ObamaCare recipients.
- Healthier subsidizing those with serious, chronic, pre-existing conditions.
...and on and on...

and on and on.

That's the way ObamaCare works. Not complaining; just stating a fact.

SrGrumpy
Posts: 358
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2015 3:21 pm

Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Post by SrGrumpy » Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:35 pm

Spirit Rider wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:05 pm

Actually, you are better off estimating your income on the low side. This is because you can get additional premium tax credits refunded after the fact, but you can not get cost sharing reductions retroactively. While excess cost sharing does not need to be paid back.
Now that I have read up on Medi-Cal, I see it is to be avoided at all costs, even though it is the default option for low earners in my category. Do you suggest that I - ahem - overestimate my income at $23,000 - just enough to get heavily subsidized ACA coverage at $1 per month and avoid being dropped in the Medi-Cal pot? I would rather not have to pay back the monthly tax credit if the disconnect is discovered. Total newbie at this, sorry.
Last edited by SrGrumpy on Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

curmudgeon
Posts: 1291
Joined: Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:00 pm

Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Post by curmudgeon » Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:46 pm

SrGrumpy wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:35 pm
Spirit Rider wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:05 pm

Actually, you are better off estimating your income on the low side. This is because you can get additional premium tax credits refunded after the fact, but you can not get cost sharing reductions retroactively. While excess cost sharing does not need to be paid back.
Now that I have read up on Medi-Cal, I see it is to be avoided at all costs, even though it is the default option for low earners in my category. Do you suggest that I - ahem - overestimate my income just enough to get heavily subsidized ACA coverage and avoid being dropped in the Medi-Cal pot? I would rather not have to pay back the monthly tax credit if the disconnect is discovered. Total newbie at this, sorry.
If you have an IRA, then do some Roth conversion next year to create income up to the level that you would like to hit.

munemaker
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Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:14 pm

Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Post by munemaker » Wed Nov 01, 2017 8:44 am

We just signed up for 2018 coverage this am. The website worked really well. I thought it might be bogged down, being the start of 2018 open enrollment. We got a really good deal...very pleased with the plan and the price (after heavy PTC and CSR). I know there is a lot of griping about ObamaCare, but it has been a blessing to us.

2015
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Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Post by 2015 » Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:10 pm

Of course the 2018 ACA rates are live...and...despite doing all kinds of pre-work over the course of the last two weeks because this is my first time with the ACA...CoveredCA can't freaking validate my Identity. Not my income, which is where most people get hung up. My identity. Despite having the same phone number and living in the same place since Lincoln was president. I can't even get off the ground with this thing.

Called CoveredCA, rep was awesome, tried all kinds of witchcraft and voodoo to get the site to validate me. Nope. Referred to the Los Angeles County Unified School District aka Bureaucracy Central. Miraculously got through to someone on the phone who said they would email an ACA enrollment counselor near my house who will then call me. Can I contact them directly? No. "It's just our process." :oops:

I will then have to go in person and do something to prove my identity. All this before I can even begin to complete an application.

This is already not off to a good start... :twisted:

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boomer
Posts: 79
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Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Post by boomer » Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:38 pm

MP123 wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2017 3:10 pm
MichaelRpdx wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2017 2:44 pm
ray.james wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 5:06 pm
This thread has been very disheartening. For someone who plans on early retirement it is downright frightening to do so.
As a new retiree I can state the scares are no worse than those provided via market volatility. If you can manage your income to stay under 400% of the federal poverty level, for 2017 that was $64,960 for a couple, you can control your health insurance costs.
But if you accidentally make $10 more than the $64,960 you expected you have to pay $20,000/yr in unsubsidized health care insurance for two people.

Seems pretty crazy to me. Something as simple as a slightly larger capital gain distribution than you expected might catapult you into the unsubsidized area.
Yes, it is crazy. Shouldn't the premiums rise in a graduated way that correlates to income? It's nuts the way that this is set up.

DavidRoseMountain
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Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Post by DavidRoseMountain » Wed Nov 01, 2017 3:47 pm

Because of the way silver plans in Michigan rose so much, my bronze plan after subsidies will cost me only $25 a month instead of $110. It's so cheap that I decided to buy dental insurance, even though I'm not sure dental insurance is a good idea.

EyeDee
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Re: 2018 ACA rates now live....

Post by EyeDee » Wed Nov 01, 2017 3:49 pm

.
The premiums DO rise in a graduated way that correlates to income, but the gradual change stops when one's income hits 400% of the federal poverty level.
boomer wrote:
Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:38 pm
MP123 wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2017 3:10 pm
MichaelRpdx wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2017 2:44 pm
ray.james wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 5:06 pm
This thread has been very disheartening. For someone who plans on early retirement it is downright frightening to do so.
As a new retiree I can state the scares are no worse than those provided via market volatility. If you can manage your income to stay under 400% of the federal poverty level, for 2017 that was $64,960 for a couple, you can control your health insurance costs.
But if you accidentally make $10 more than the $64,960 you expected you have to pay $20,000/yr in unsubsidized health care insurance for two people.

Seems pretty crazy to me. Something as simple as a slightly larger capital gain distribution than you expected might catapult you into the unsubsidized area.
Yes, it is crazy. Shouldn't the premiums rise in a graduated way that correlates to income? It's nuts the way that this is set up.
Randy

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