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May get a job, but health insurance is very high. Need advice
Old 09-05-2014, 01:52 PM   #1
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May get a job, but health insurance is very high. Need advice

Hi everyone,

Hope you can help me out. I am presently not working and unemployment ran out in early February of this year. I live in Massachusetts and am on MassHealth of which I pay no premium. I have run my numbers in Firecalc and it looks good for 20-23 years. I am presently 56 yrs old.

I am looking for work and would consider both part time and full. Here is my question. I just had a 2nd interview for a full time job and the manager was very impressed with me. I haven't been offered anything yet, but the benefits were explained to me. Healthcare would cost me $171 per bi-weekly pay period or about $4500/year which I believe is extremely high. The pay is only $35,000 year.

Would you accept the job if offered, or should I keep looking in hopes of finding another job with more cost effective benefits? I thought companies could charge you only a certain percentage of income for healthcare. If I stay unemployed, my healthcare is fully covered.

Would welcome any advice.


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Old 09-05-2014, 01:59 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by paulb View Post
I thought companies could charge you only a certain percentage of income for healthcare.
No, they can charge as much as they want. HOWEVER -- as a result of the ACA, since you would have to pay more than 9.5% of your income in premiums for employer coverage (it's almost 13%), you would be eligible to participate in the ACA Exchange for your state and be eligible for subsidies. A $35,000 income would be under the 400% of the federal poverty line threshold, even for single filers, so you would remain eligible for subsidies on the Exchange.

That means you may have not two, but three options:

* Remain unemployed and get "free" health insurance;

* Take the job and sign up for their health insurance plan;

* Take the job, decline employer coverage and get subsidized coverage on the Marketplace.

You have to run the numbers for your specific situation to help guide you.

[Edit to add: You don't say anything about marital status or if you have a spouse that gets "affordable" employer health insurance coverage as defined by the ACA (less than 9.5% of household income). If you do, then the subsidy option is no longer in play, though you could still choose to buy unsubsidized health insurance on the Exchanges.]

"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
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Old 09-05-2014, 06:44 PM   #3
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If you're healthy, then your best bet may to take the job, decline the employer coverage and apply for a catastrophic or bronze level plan and see if you qualify for subsidy.
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Old 09-06-2014, 06:26 AM   #4
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They probably figured out that most will decline it, part of corporate strategy.
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