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Old 11-14-2014, 11:44 AM   #61
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Old 11-14-2014, 12:00 PM   #62
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Two of the more common exemptions are 1) if your 2013 pre-ACA plan was cancelled and 2) if the lowest cost bronze plan available to you exceeds 8% of your MAGI (assuming your employer does not provide health insurance).
How is anyone able to view the rates for catastrophic plans using the exchange, ehealthinsurance.com etc.? I never found an option that lets you opt-in for an exemption when comparing plans so the cat plans never show up.
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Old 11-14-2014, 12:09 PM   #63
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Using the proportional pricing swag suggested by MooreBonds I have come to the conclusion that the catastrophic policies are not much better.
I had looked at something like this also. Crazy the Bronze plans are cheaper in my area. From what I looked at before there wasn't much difference in what was covered between the two.

Here's a link that compares the two, ACA Bronze Tier Health Insurance vs. Catastrophic Plans - US News
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Old 11-14-2014, 12:27 PM   #64
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For some reason, in my state the premium for a catastrophic is about 37% lower and the benefits are only slightly worse. I suspect it is because health insurance premiums are NOT age rated in our state (they are priced like group health insurance). I plan to take advantage of it as long as it lasts.

While I think your analyses of cat vs bronze is sound, I would make a call and find out exactly what the cat premium for your age is before concluding in case for some reason it is significantly different from your estimate.
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Old 11-14-2014, 01:46 PM   #65
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Shop around. You will likely do a lot better, and now there is no penalty to doing so aside from the time it takes to do so.
I'm on the healthserpa.com site. The LOWEST plan listed is 20% higher than I was paying this year. There is NO shopping around.
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Old 11-14-2014, 02:52 PM   #66
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Hopefully something better will come soon.
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Old 11-14-2014, 04:27 PM   #67
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I'm on the healthserpa.com site. The LOWEST plan listed is 20% higher than I was paying this year. There is NO shopping around.
Hmm, I just looked on health Sherpa for my options and they seem to be missing several insurers. Think I will wait until tomorrow to really look. Perhaps once the exchange opens up you will find more options.
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Old 11-14-2014, 06:38 PM   #68
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Just got notification of my increase for a pre-ACA BCBS HSA plan for Oregon.
rate was 263 , new rate is 295
Surprisingly they did make some changes to make it more ACA compliant.
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Old 11-14-2014, 09:05 PM   #69
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Preliminary look at our Idaho ACA Blue cross plan for next year is about $75 more than last year and our subsidy goes down by about $25 based on the same income. So our cost will nearly double from $115 last year to $215 or so next year. Nearly a 100% increase in our cost. This does not sound right but I can't see where my figures are wrong. Any one else having such a high increase?


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Old 11-14-2014, 09:23 PM   #70
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I looked at federal plans in our state. Price up about 10% overall. But threshold for subsidy is lower than last year. Almost had to enroll in October but will have benefits till 1/1/15. I think we'll qualify for a subsidy.


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Old 11-14-2014, 09:25 PM   #71
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Preliminary look at our Idaho ACA Blue cross plan for next year is about $75 more than last year and our subsidy goes down by about $25 based on the same income. So our cost will nearly double from $115 last year to $215 or so next year. Nearly a 100% increase in our cost. This does not sound right but I can't see where my figures are wrong. Any one else having such a high increase?


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Without a subsidy ours could be $1000/month. I would calculate your % increase based on the unsubsidized plan.


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Old 11-14-2014, 09:28 PM   #72
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Daughter's plan (Bronze Plan, BCBS, single, 34 years old, no children) went up 20.4%. Plus they are increasing out of pocket cost to $6,600 vs. $6000. Sounds like a deal, huh?

Looks like she will shop around.
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Old 11-14-2014, 09:42 PM   #73
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Without a subsidy ours could be $1000/month. I would calculate your % increase based on the unsubsidized plan.


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Yes I realize the actual cost of the plan is only going up about 20% but that has little meaning to my budget. Nearly a 100% increase to my budget. Still thankful for the ACA as it makes it possible for us to even have health insurance. Hoping the final numbers will be a little better and I am missing something.


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Old 11-15-2014, 06:51 AM   #74
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I just checked Humana and Aetna, and as expected (and like last year) they have a number of additional plans available not offered on the exchange (Florida). Prices have increased but are still better than the BCBS premiums. Hopefully it will be easier to browse their networks to see how robust they are.
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Old 11-15-2014, 08:45 AM   #75
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So, if anyone figures out how a married couple can get individual policies with the subsidy, please post about it. We are considering an HSA plan, would like to get individual policies even if it means going with 2 different insurers.
Answering my own question.......

I filled out the application on Healthcare.gov late last night. I already had all the info ready except for my employers phone numbers so it didn't take long at all. They do warn you to complete the application in one session or you may have to input it all again.

When you get to the end of the application you submit it and get the eligibility letter. The eligibility letter gives you the subsidy amount for both spouses combined.

When you proceed to the part where you shop for plans there is a place to assign health plan groups. It put both of us in one group but it was simple to create another group and put one of us into it, which left us with DH in one group and me in another. From there I could shop for plans for each of us as an individual. Looking at plans for DH first everything listed was half the price, half the subsidy and half the deductible of the info I had seen on the www.Healthcare.gov preview feature and very close to the info on http://www.valuepenguin.com/ppaca/exchanges and www.healthsherpa.com.

Here is another bit of info about the application process. We are considering HSA policies. If I want to reduce our projected income for 2015 to reflect the HSA deduction you can't do that after you submit the application but you can remove the application and start over.
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Old 11-15-2014, 09:34 AM   #76
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How is anyone able to view the rates for catastrophic plans using the exchange, ehealthinsurance.com etc.? I never found an option that lets you opt-in for an exemption when comparing plans so the cat plans never show up.
Answering my own question here, I had to go to Humana's website directly to see what they call the 'Basic' plan, which is essentially a bronze plan with a slightly higher deductible ($600/$1200 more). I'm guessing this is their cat plan, but the monthly premium is about $125/mo. cheaper than the bronze so it's going to be a no-brainer to me to get this one. Same POS (non-HMO) plan as bronze, same network etc.

In Cobb County GA (just west of the ATL), the bronze plan is $688/mo. for a 51 and 53 year old household, the basic plan is $577. I'm going to get separate individual plans as recommended due to the family deductible combo penalty. This is just less than a 10% increase over 2014 rates.

EDIT: Oops yep the Basic plan is a cat plan and I'm not going to eligible for that because I don't have a hardship exemption, but the bronze plan is reasonable enough for me next year. After that I'm going to go for subsidies with the ACA (I'll have substantial severance income next year).
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Old 11-15-2014, 10:34 AM   #77
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Just curious if my 2015 income is the same as 2014 why would my subsidy be less in 2015!

I also checked the Kaiser site and the subsidy is higher by $69.00 per month!

Is it possible the subsidy information on Healthcare.gov has not been updated?
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Old 11-15-2014, 11:37 AM   #78
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Think it's due to lower price plans being available in your area. That's what I'm seeing too. There may be smaller networks that I could use, need to start searching the HI's network to see what's in or out. Last year a large provider in this area was out of the smaller networks at first, but came in late in the process.

My same plan from last year is up 25% after subsidies. It's still way cheaper and better than my COBRA was.

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Old 11-15-2014, 12:03 PM   #79
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Had we stayed in the Bay Area, our premiums would have been around $1200, our tax credit would have been close to $1200 (can't recall the exact figures) and our share of the premium was going to be $3/mo. Yes, THREE dollars.

For the same plan, same company, same income, but now in SW Riverside County, our premium is around $1000, our tax credit would be about $700, and our share of the premium would be $300/mo.

From $3 to $300 for an address change, according to the CoveredCA calculator.
I am not complaining about the figures; it is just a very surprising difference.

I don't understand how they calculate these rates, but I'm not going to worry about it. I'm going to sit back and see how CoveredCA fares the next couple of months before I try to wade into the fray. They still don't have me sorted out for 2014. I don't want to mess with 2015 just yet.

Edited to Add: OK, I DID just look, and the prices and plans are different from what I saw yesterday. They have added Kaiser Bronze HSA plans back in, for example, and the rates are lower.

What a difference a day makes.
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Old 11-15-2014, 02:31 PM   #80
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Just curious if my 2015 income is the same as 2014 why would my subsidy be less in 2015!

I also checked the Kaiser site and the subsidy is higher by $69.00 per month!

Is it possible the subsidy information on Healthcare.gov has not been updated?
I believe it is due to competition and more choices in your state's marketplace. That is what happened in my case. A new company came in and their 2nd lowest priced Silver plan is less expensive than the 2nd lowest priced Silver plan from the current year. That reduced my subsidy.
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