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ACA Experts Please
Old 12-16-2014, 06:16 AM   #1
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Location: Viera, FL
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ACA Experts Please

I have a year to plan on my health coverage as I make my way towards ER. I'm learning as much as I can to make the right decision. I was wondering how do you qualify for ACA during the first year after you stopped working full time and have to report your AGI:
Form 1040: Line 37
Do you have to wait a year to qualify? Thanks.

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Old 12-16-2014, 06:57 AM   #2
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You do not have to wait a year.

When you sign up they ask for your estimated income for the year that you will be covered and you provide that amount. Since that lower in retirement amount will be different from what the government has in their records for your income from tax returns, etc., it is likely that they will ask questions as to why your income changed and you'll need to respond explaining the change and providing whatever relevant supporting documentation you have. A number of people on this forum have gone through the process and I'm sure that they will weigh in.

Another approach some people use is to forgo the advance premiums credits and just pay the whole premium and get their subsidy later as part of their tax refund when they file their tax return. Those who take this option avoid having to provide their income and explain why it is so different, but if their income is really low they forgo subsidies for deductibles and copays.

Also, the income is not just AGI, but AGI + tax-exempt interest + non-taxable SS and some other adjustments.

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Old 12-16-2014, 06:58 AM   #3
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This is a dillema several of us have dealt with.

Depending on when you retire, in the year, you may not qualify for subsidies when you first retire. For example I retired in June - and had too much income already... but just signed up for ACA plans through CACovered for 2015.

There was a thread last year about how to show the *expected* income vs previous income.
ACA additional verification of income letter

And another thread this month on the same issue.
For the recently retired how do you resolve ACA wage inconsistency, big drop in MAGI

Some people just showed termination/end of employment letters. Others showed brokerage statements, and some wrote letters, pdf'd them, explaining their income.
Retired June 2014. No longer an enginerd - now I'm just a nerd.
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