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Income Estimate for the Federal ACA Site
Old 01-26-2014, 10:35 AM   #1
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Income Estimate for the Federal ACA Site

I would like to get feedback on the process of signing up through healthcare.gov from people who have done it. Specifically in the process surrounding estimated income when your most current 1040 shows working full time, but your 2014 1040 will show very little income.

My recent "last regular paycheck of my life", plus interest and dividends (estimated from last year's taxes) might get me to about 70% FPL. But of course I can Roth convert to pull that up to wherever I want (over 137%, for sure). I've got a carry forward loss, so I guess I can net that out too?

Anyway, I wondered if anyone has gone through the process and has any pointers or gotchas for me. Did you need to send in something that "proves" you're no longer employed? I understand that I need to get this done by the 15th of the month to have it effective on the first of March. My plan is to not reject COBRA (but not accept it either...I have 60 days). In that time, I expect little or no use of the medical system, but if something bad does happen, I'll sign-up for COBRA.

So, has anyone gone through estimating 2014 retirement income (with regular 2013 wages) on the federal site? (I know Brewer12345 has on his state site). Any pointers for negotiating this on healthcare.gov?
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Old 01-26-2014, 05:56 PM   #2
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I think it depends. I went through the process on healthcare.gov. Our 2014 income will be a fraction of 2012. I was only asked if we had a job change. No proof was requested. I believe others here had a completely different experience. So YMMV.
Best wishes,
MRG
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Old 01-26-2014, 06:38 PM   #3
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I've wondered about OP's question, too. Best info I could find was here-

http://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/F...n-8-5-2013.pdf

It sounds like the applicant inputs their projected 2014 income & that is supposed to be compared to IRS, SSA, and (possibly) Equifax (private credit bureau) data. If there is major difference, the "Marketplace" is supposed to request additional explanatory documentation. Quoting form this CMS press release-
"When documentation is requested, the Affordable Care Act and implementing regulations specify that if the applicant meets all other eligibility requirements, he or she will be provided with eligibility for advance payments of the premium tax credit and cost-sharing reductions based on the inputted projected annual household income for 90 days (which may be extended based on good faith), provided that the tax filer attests to the Marketplace that he or
she understands that any advance payments of the premium tax credit paid on his or her behalf are subject to reconciliation."


So it seems Marketplace is supposed to take your word for your projected income data and grant your (otherwise OK) ACA eligibility, inc premium & cost-sharing subsidies, for 90 days then re-assess. If your income turns out to be higher than you estimate, Gov't can recover any ineligible advance tax credit premium payments (but recovery of cost-sharing subsidies, if any, in not stated). Don't think this CMS document said anything about consequences of OVERstating your estimated 2014 MAGI, but not sure that is a big issue here. Since Medicaid eligibility (inc State requirements) is now supposedly linked through this same Marketplace app process, my guess is that you could reasonably estimate whatever 2014 MAGI works best for you. It seems you have the flexibility of Roth conversion (or even taking another j#b) to make adjustments & hit your MAGI target.
HOWEVER- I would keep in mind that the above is only a press release and not text of specific law(s) &/or implementation regulations. Gov't application procedures (Fed & State) could change & I suspect we will be hearing more about this in the future as more folks go through the system.
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Old 01-27-2014, 10:44 AM   #4
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I applied today but got 'stuck' before I could get to picking out a plan.

It wasn't obvious I was stuck (at least to me). I got to the screen with one big green button. When pressed I got a PDF that said next steps was "choose a health plan and make first month's payment".

But it also said "You told us someone on your application files their own tax return. Please call us..."

The guy that I talked to said that until my daughter (who will make $1000 in Federal Workstudy) gets on and fills out HER OWN application, mine will be 'stuck'. He also said that until tomorrow, he and his won't be able to see my application.

So I, ehem, I mean my daughter filled out her own application, and she got TWO big green buttons.

Now I'm not sure if she should click the "Continue To Enrollment" or not, or if my application will get the second big green button tomorrow (it's no on there now).
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Old 01-27-2014, 10:48 AM   #5
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One smallish "gotcha" I learned about was that my daughter's Federal Workstudy income will get pooled with whatever I reported for income, so if you're shooting for a specific FPL%, don't forget to subtract that out when you do your income.
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Old 01-27-2014, 01:38 PM   #6
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I think you have two different questions. My experience was very easy, single no dependents, estimated income for 2014 from expected interest/dividends.

As for income use the best estimate you have for 2014, if you plan to do a roth conversion to get above medicaid, then include that. Also note your income is household income not just individual.

As for you daughter, that is different question, there is FAQ on that https://www.healthcare.gov/how-do-i-...lace-coverage/

Important: If your household files more than one tax return, call the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325) before you start an application. This is a very important step. Please don’t skip it. Representatives can provide directions to make sure your application is processed correctly.
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Old 01-27-2014, 01:49 PM   #7
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My Oregon ACA application was misread causing me to be enrolled in Medicaid.
I entered my low monthly income and then one large distribution for the year.
Come to find out the first thing they do is look at the monthly income to see if
you qualify for Medicaid. So they ignored the yearly total. Hundreds of folks
may have been victims of this error. I chose to revert back to my old insurance
and canceled Medicaid.
Next year I may just divide the yearly total by 12 months and input that as my monthly
income.
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Old 01-31-2014, 08:46 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbmrtn View Post
As for you daughter, that is different question, there is FAQ on that https://www.healthcare.gov/how-do-i-...lace-coverage/
Quote:
Important: If your household files more than one tax return, call the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325) before you start an application. This is a very important step. Please don’t skip it. Representatives can provide directions to make sure your application is processed correctly.
I went to that page just after this was posted and saw that comment. When I go there now, it's not there! I wonder if they think they've fixed the problem.

EDIT: I think they just moved it. Now it's under "how can I get ready to apply":
https://www.healthcare.gov/how-can-i...e-marketplace/
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