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View Diary: Healthcare.gov finally worked!! (96 comments)

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  •  One more thing -- (16+ / 0-)

    and why I haven't been back. It's too discouraging.

    I went into the healthcare.gov site today just to see what happened. (Even though I have been scolded by my betters than I am just wasting intertube space when I do that. My thought on that is -- Bite me.)

    And I was happily surprised about the speedy way I was able to fill everything in -- took, maybe, 45 minutes, with having to go find a couple of things I didn't know I needed.

    But then I thought I had misunderstood and maybe I wasn't in the Medicaid gap after all because the website asked for what seemed to me to be Gross Income. Well, based on that we are a bit above the cutoff point.

    But my accountant assures me we are below the cutoff point, that healthcare.gov really means Adjusted Gross Income and we are still firmly in the Medicaid gap (because we live in a stupid state -- FL).

    So my other complaint is that the request for income info could be a little clearer -- like point to a line on the tax return or something -- and/or have some sort of recognition that self-employed income is less predictable than salaried income and/or that self-employed Adjusted Gross Income includes a lot of things that a salaried person's Adjusted Gross Income might not. If you are, for instance, expensing car expenses that lowers your adjusted gross income figure where a salaried person might not have that reduced income figure.

    Is there an accountant in the room who knows what I mean?

    Anyway, it was a pleasant surprise to see things working so well today! :)

    •  Feel free to interpret ... (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rennert, mjbleo, TofG, elwior, kefauver, aitchdee

      You can the ambiguity to your advantage -- give them the information that gives you the best deal?

      •  Well, don't think (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lujane, mjbleo, Larsstephens, aitchdee

        the thought didn't cross my mind. :)

        But then I didn't want to have a problem with taxes in 2015.

        Am I being too cautious? (She asked hopefully).

        •  Cautiousness (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          aitchdee

          Deliberate fraud in understating your income could get you put in jail.

          But, especially for 2014, they're likely to take any income you state. They check against previous tax returns (2012 being the most recent) and Experian for current wage income before they approve your subsidy, but I don't think they're being too strict at the moment.

          It's to your advantage to state your income at the low-end of what you think it will be. This may increase your "cost sharing" (reductions in deductable, copays, and total out-of-pocket costs) that are established when you choose your policy and can't be taken away.

          If you realize during the year that your income will be higher you need to report that and your subsidy may be reduced, but not your cost sharing.

          When you file your 2014 return if your income is higher than you stated you will be required to pay back some or all (depending on income level) of the excess subsidy you received based on lower-than-actual income.

    •  MAGI (14+ / 0-)

      The subsidy criteria is MAGI - modified adjusted gross income. This is 2012 Form 1040 line 37 plus any tax-exempt interest or dividend income. Most iimportant, this is before ANY deductions except capital losses up to $3000 and HSA contributions.

      I'm not a professional and there are a few other inclusions/exclusions. If your accountant doesn't know what MAGI is you need a new one.

      Here's a start at more information:
      http://www.zanebenefits.com/...

      •  And self-employed business expenses (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mjbleo, TofG, elwior, OrangeMike, wasatch, aitchdee

        Since they are deducted on Schedule C before the self-employment income is reported on Form 1040 line 12.

        On your application you can state what you think your 2014 income will be. If the government disagrees with your estimate you can appeal and provide documentation.

        If your income changes during the year you can report that and your subsidy will change.

        When you file your 2014 tax return there is a reconciliation process where if your actual 2014 income was different that what your stated you either pay the difference if you understated (subject to limits based on your percent of poverty level) or get an additional refund.

      •  Yep. That's what the (3+ / 0-)

        accountant -- a good accountant but learning about the ACA as we all are -- said -- the adjusted gross income would be the number to use. And that's too low to qualify.  (MAGI does not apply in my case. Just AGI.)

        We are talking about an annual gross income in the low 30s with an AGI of about $15K.

        So thanks for the confirmation. I still get no help and still live in a stupid state.

      •  Non-taxable Social Security benefits (0+ / 0-)

        are also included in MAGI. My husband is a disabled veteran and receives Social Security. He's covered by VA health benefits but I am not, nor are my kids. In trying to figure out how we might be affected if my employer tossed us all into the Exchange, I finally tracked down a simple chart: here

        Trickle-down economics MIGHT work... If the 1% weren't forever damming up the water supply.

        by Celestia89 on Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 04:12:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I know exactly what you mean, being self-employed. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wasatch, aitchdee

      We were told to make our best estimate based on our accountant's year-to-date comparison figures. Then either at the end of the year or when we file our 2013 taxes we let them (Covered California) know so they can adjust our premium accordingly, so we don't get hit with a big surprise at the end of the year if we were really off.

      It IS more complicated being self-employed, but think about it this way: If your business takes a bad hit in a single year (as ours recently did, due to cancer treatment) you can count on your health insurance premiums going DOWN. Yeah, I been self-employed 23 years and this is the first time my premiums have DECREASED and could again if I suffer another bad year.

      Oh, it's MAGI (modified adjusted gross income) but only my accountant knows the difference between the two.

      Oh, I used to be disgusted
      Now I try to be amused
      ~~ Elvis Costello

      by smileycreek on Tue Oct 29, 2013 at 07:11:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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