Figuring out this healthcare insurance mess is really giving me a headache. It took 3 days for my state's exchange website to actually function like it is supposed to. So, now I can see all the plans available. Funny, I seem to remember hearing The President say, back when he was trying to get Obamacare passed, that this would open up states to be able to offer many more plans and generate more competition. Well, all the insurance companies (with the exception of one name I don't recognize) are the same that have always offered insurance here in my state for those who buy insurance direct. Nothing new - they just all have different, more expensive plans they offer now. One big noticeable difference? Regence Blue Shield (one of the biggest insurer's in my state) isn't on the exchange. What the heck? Regence is currently who I have DH and the kids covered through. If I want their new comparable plan (compared to what I have them on now) it will cost me $700 a month - $429 a month more than what I have them on now to buy it through them direct. If I buy a plan through the exchange I can get the cheapest plan for $605 a month - which I think is a price with no subsidies.
I'm getting confusing info on whether, as a family of 4, we currently qualify for any subsidy. I have read that if income is under $94,200 for a family of 4, you qualify for at least some break. But, I only need coverage for DH and the kids, as I have coverage paid for myself by my employer. There is no where on the "view plans and quotes" area of the website where I put in both the number of people in the household and income. It just asks for income and info on who would be insured. So, I am making the assumption that the quote of $605/mo does not contain any subsidies. I'm also getting conflicting info on what income I include, but it appears I also have to add in my daughter's part time income from her job, as she lives in the household and I am claiming her as a dependent. While that still keeps us a tad under the $94,200, we might get some bit of subsidy.
I know my annual salary, BUT, there is the possibility that my company will give out bonus's again next year. So, as a precaution, I am adding 10% to my salary for 2014 estimate and then I am estimating DD to work until September, when she goes off to college and won't be working at that time, other than summers.
My biggest "unknown" is what to do about DS.....he still is technically our dependent as he hasn't received his work visa and started his out of the country job yet. The 4 week estimate of getting his work visa processed has now turned into 6-7 weeks. It has now been 5 weeks since he applied. Once he starts his job he said he is not eligible for his company insurance/benefits until he has worked there 3 months. So, come January I am probably looking at him still needing to be covered by insurance for at least a month or two more. If I have to cover him for a couple of months, he will at least be working and earning money, so he can reimburse me for the couple of months insurance until his employer insurance kicks in. If the kid will be making more money than me, he can pay me back for his insurance!
With these 2 different scenarios I have been trying to get estimates on what this will cost. With just DH and DD, it will cost about $476 (for a Bronze plan). If I have to sign DS up for a month or two, I guess I can then go back to the exchange at any time during the year and change our income/family size status. For sure, once DS has started his new job, I will not be claiming him as a dependent (he won't be living here for sure then, anyway) and that moves us to the household size of 3 and then, based on my and DD's income, we definitely do not qualify for any subsidies.
Plus, I keep finding little articles referencing if my employer offers coverage for my family. They are vague and confusing as to whether I can even get them insurance on the exchange (without subsidy) or I have to put them on employer's plan. The rule that your cost of your employer's insurance can't cost THE EMPLOYEE more than 9.5% of their income does nothing to reference what the limit, if any, may be, if I have to pay my employer to insure my family. One article I read said that was a glitch in the law.
Well, I can guarantee you THAT is not going to happen. To have DH and even one child on my employer plan will cost me $1139/mo - that is almost 20% of our income. There is no way I can afford that. Either they get on a still expensive exchange plan or I guess they go without insurance and we just pay the fine.
I think I'm just going to ignore this all for a month or two. We have until mid December or so to sign up and by then I should hopefully know more what exactly our family size/income status will be for 2014. Regardless, it's all going to cost me a lot more money than I am paying now and I don't feel like thinking about it!