Skip to main content

I think something is wrong, but I'm not sure, and I need someone who understands the ACA better than I to give me some advice.  

My wife (kossack yellowfroggyattack) and I returned to the States after six years in Japan on March 27th.  We just got connected to the internet yesterday- just in time to beat the ACA enrollment deadline!  Well, I called in because the website traffic was so heavy, and I enrolled... and got shafted, I think.  

Below the squiggly we go...

yellowfroggyattack and I are planning to start a business, so our income calculations have been hard to figure.  While I was waiting on the phone to get signed up, I used's calculator to figure out our subsidy level and pick out a plan.  I entered Michigan, county of Oakland, 2 adults, our ages, and for estimated income I put down $25K.  It showed me a bunch of plans and said that we likely qualified for a tax subsidy of $383.  Yippee!  I chose a decent silver plan that would thus cost us $25 a month.  After a long hold, I spoke to the helper on the phone and she helped me choose a dental plan for $43 a month.  She signed us up, gave me the numbers of the insurance companies, and told me I'd be paying $451 a month.  Wait, what?

She said that since Michigan didn't expand medicaid, we didn't qualify for subsidies.  Wait, I thought there was some sort of federal subsidy?  No, she said.  Well, then why did the calculator tell me I'd get $383 per month?  Well, that's inaccurate, she said.  Around and around we went.  

Is she right?  Is there really no federal subsidy available?  Do I really have to pay full price for these plans?  Who screwed up here, if anyone?  Are my wife and I really going to have to pay $5400 a year for basic health insurance when our income might well be next to nothing?  

What is going on here?  Any help, advice, etc. would be greatly appreciated.

Update- Please note that I am not some sort of Redstate troll or anything.  I still recognize the benefits of the ACA- like the fact that my wife won't be kicked off because of her preexisting condition, etc.  I'm just completely confused about the fact that the prices are sky-high and there's nothing to be done about it.  

Tue Apr 01, 2014 at 4:24 AM PT: UPDATE II - First off, thank you very much to everyone who commented on my diary.  Thanks to you and calling back and waiting patiently on hold, I was able to figure it out.  Here's what happened:  When I initially completed my application over the phone, I was asked for income data.  I asked if I should give my estimated income or only income that I knew about for sure.  The latter, she said.  So I counted some investments and rental income but nothing else, which gave me a yearly income of $7K per year... well below the line for receiving tax credits.  Since Michigan hadn't expanded medicare yet, this meant that I had fallen in the gap, but the person who helped me couldn't articulate this well.  So I called back again and started over fresh (old application thrown out, new one begun) and this time I gave them my anticipated income which qualified me for a tax credit.  Still deciding what exactly I should do based on all of your good advice, but the point is I will indeed be able to get good and affordable coverage via the ACA.  Thank you all again!

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site