Lawsuit Challenging Obamacare Subsidies Moves Forward | Washington Free Beacon.
The judge in Oklahoma ruled that the state of Oklahoma has the legal standing to sue the federal government over federal subsidies in federally run health insurance exchanges.
The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, requires that each state has its own exchange where individuals can buy health insurance. If a state refuses to set up its own exchange, the federal government steps in and sets up the exchange for it.
Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt argues in the suit that the Affordable Care Act only provides federal subsidies for exchanges set up by the states, as opposed to the federal government. The subsidies allow the federal government to enforce the employer mandate in states that refused to set up their own exchanges.
The suit threatens to undermine the individual mandate as well as the employer mandate, Matthews said. If the federal government cannot legally subsidize insurance on the exchanges it runs, then insurance could become unaffordable for many individuals. If they cannot afford the insurance, then they do not have to buy it, reducing the pool of the insured.
If the suit is successful and the federal government is barred from providing subsidies for the exchanges it runs, the viability of the exchanges could be in trouble, some experts predicted.
“That will just be a huge blow to the exchanges being able to operate,” said Sally Pipes, president of the Pacific Research Institute.
If the suit were to succeed, the Federal Government would use every tool in its arsenal to “make” the states take over the exchanges.
Ohio reveals high exchange rates | LifeHealthPro.
Ohio officials said late Thursday that health insurance costs will increase “significantly” under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
The state’s department of insurance estimated the average individual premium will increase from $223 per month to $420 — an average of 88 percent — for policies under President Obama’s health care law.
A total of 14 carriers filed proposed rates for 214 different plans to the department for the newly formed exchange. Projected costs from the companies for providing coverage for the required essential health benefits ranged from $282.51 to $577.40 for individual health insurance plans, officials said.
Subsidies not included…
The analysis didn’t take into account the impact that government subsidies may have on what Ohioans could pay.
The federal government is running Ohio’s exchange, as the state chose not to run its own.
Ohio is among the first states to say PPACA will cause significant price hikes. Last month, California released its sample rates, touting the fact that premiums will be lower-than-expected under PPACA. For the most part, California’s rates emerged as less expensive than expected, with supporters of the law claiming it was a “home run” for consumers. Some critics, though, called out Covered California, the agency tasked with setting up the exchange, for making an apples-to-oranges comparison.
I’ve mean’t to do some posting on the CA rates. Two Forbes columnists have been battling it out with good information from each. My initial interpretation is the small group rates came in better than expected and individual rates are higher than they presently are.
What the Self-Employed Don’t Know About Obamacare Subsidies – Businessweek.
Question: I am a 56-year-old self-employed woman with no dependents. I do not currently have health insurance but I need it and I understand I will have to buy it starting in 2014. What should I do and how can I afford it?
If the shoe fits, read it. You can view subsidy eligibility here.
The Obamacare Subsidy You Could Be Missing – My Money (usnews.com).
Who is eligible?
Subsidies aren’t just for the poor. The subsidy that Obamacare offers, given in the form of a tax credit, is meant to offset insurance costs to limit the percentage of income spent on insurance premiums. The subsidy phases out, though, when a person’s income exceeds 400 percent of a given year’s federal poverty level. In 2013, for instance, the FPL for a single-person household is $11,490, while the FPL for a four-person household is $23,550, according to the Office of Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation.
A quick overview of the subsidy levels…
The percentage allowed will depend on one’s income bracket. For earnings up to 133 percent of the FPL, premium spending will be limited to 2 percent of income. For income between 200 percent and 250 percent of the FPL, spending will be limited to 6.3 percent of income. And for earnings between 350 percent of the FPL, spending will be capped at 9.5 percent of income.
View a more complete table of Federal Poverty levels for various size families which extend these tables to 400% of income under the Obamacare resoures tab of this blog.
As they say, read the whole thing. I’m going to link to this article on my resource page.
Health care credits could trigger surprise tax bills – Houston Chronicle.
Millions of people who take advantage of government subsidies to help buy health insurance next year could get stung by surprise tax bills if they don’t accurately project their income.
A “must read” if you sign up for a subsidized Obamacare plan. If your income varies substantially from your estimates there could be tax repurcussions.