I'm a reporter in WA and working on a preview of the rollout of the exchange here and I just got off the phone with customer service and am feeling considerably dismayed. I asked if a person was eligible for insurance through their spouse's employer, how affordability was calculated.
She told me that if insurance was considered affordable for the employee, then regardless of what it costs to add a spouse, that spouse is ineligible for subsidies through the exchanges. In other words, your spouse can get an exchange policy, but will pay full price for it. Now I've seen full price for them; Washington has a rate sheet up already, and for people in their 50s and up, or people who don't earn a ton, those policies still aren't affordable.
I, for example, have insurance through my company that costs me $26 a month. It's pretty good insurance, too. I am planning to get married but may reconsider. My fiancee is a small business owner and currently uninsured. He qualifies for Medicaid at this point. If we marry, he won't qualify, because my insurance is affordable to me. Never mind that adding him will cost us far more than we can afford.
If you file separately on your taxes, you can qualify separately for exchange plans, but again, you don't get the subsidies. It's the subsidies that make these plans affordable.
Does anyone know something I don't, or see something I'm missing? Because I'm horrified. We just legalized gay marriage up here. A lot of joyful friends got married. Are they going to regret it? Should I not marry? Should married people divorce?

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