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Old 11-01-2015, 04:41 PM   #21
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Signed up today had to change plans because they didn't offer same plan , got a better deal with the switch. Very pleased.


Just using distribution funds so I can keep magi low22000, and rest to live on is in savings accounts. Thankful that we had a big savings account since if we put it all in ira we would not of been able to keep magi low.

Biggest deal of all is the cost sharing that is why I go for the silver plan
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Old 11-01-2015, 04:45 PM   #22
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I don't recall healthcare.gov asking for naturalization papers last year. Is that new?
I didn't enroll last year so I don't know. It asks if you are a US citizen, then if you are Natural born or Naturalized. We've held US passports since 1998 and I've never before been asked to produce the certificate as the US passport is proof enough.
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Old 11-01-2015, 04:51 PM   #23
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Also, the website insists that as Naturalized citizens we must provide the A numbers from our certificates but then won't accept them saying that they are the wrong format (an A followed by a series of digits which is exactly the format displayed in their field example). If I do choose to enroll then by Feb 15 I have to produce a copy of either the certificate or a US passport. Why they don't recognize the A numbers or allow me to enter our US passport details is beyond me. I don't even know why being a citizen as opposed to being a resident alien matters when buying health insurance.

At least I could see the quotes for our exact circumstances.
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I don't recall healthcare.gov asking for naturalization papers last year. Is that new?
No, the naturalization sub-process is not new. I never got past that phase with DW when healthcare.gov was first rolled out, even though I was able to locate a copy of her certificate.

Why they choose this way to document US citizenship is beyond you, me and everyone else.
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Old 11-01-2015, 05:34 PM   #24
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Just completed my application through healthcare.gov but haven't selected a plan yet. Pretty smooth process but then I'm single with no dependents. Only glitch I encountered was they assume the number you put in for self employment income is monthly rather than offering you a choice of monthly or yearly so be careful with that or you'll find your estimated income may be way off.

P.S., I did not get asked whether I was natural born or naturalized citizen. Odd. Could it vary by state?
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Old 11-01-2015, 05:56 PM   #25
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Question for folks using the exchange. How do you go about estimating capital gains as income from investments since who knows where the stock market will be in 2016?
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Old 11-01-2015, 06:01 PM   #26
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Question for folks using the exchange. How do you go about estimating capital gains as income from investments since who knows where the stock market will be in 2016?
I don't know that you really can (not using the exchange for 2016, but did in 2014 and the first part of 2015). Stock market returns are not in your control, but the decision to buy and sell is, so if the market rises a lot, don't sell. And if the market falls a lot, capital losses only offset capital gains and up to $3,000 of ordinary income per year. So you do have some control in "engineering" something close to the income level you are seeking to be just below (or just above in terms of getting over 138% of the poverty line).
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Old 11-01-2015, 06:21 PM   #27
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Just completed my application through healthcare.gov but haven't selected a plan yet. Pretty smooth process but then I'm single with no dependents. Only glitch I encountered was they assume the number you put in for self employment income is monthly rather than offering you a choice of monthly or yearly so be careful with that or you'll find your estimated income may be way off.

P.S., I did not get asked whether I was natural born or naturalized citizen. Odd. Could it vary by state?
Does Arizona have a State Exchange by chance? Texas doesn't so I had to go through Healthcare.gov.
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Old 11-01-2015, 06:24 PM   #28
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I don't know that you really can (not using the exchange for 2016, but did in 2014 and the first part of 2015). Stock market returns are not in your control, but the decision to buy and sell is, so if the market rises a lot, don't sell. And if the market falls a lot, capital losses only offset capital gains and up to $3,000 of ordinary income per year. So you do have some control in "engineering" something close to the income level you are seeking to be just below (or just above in terms of getting over 138% of the poverty line).
Remember that if your income changes drastically, you can also report it to them at any time and adjust your subsidies.
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Old 11-01-2015, 06:25 PM   #29
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Question for folks using the exchange. How do you go about estimating capital gains as income from investments since who knows where the stock market will be in 2016?
Really what they are looking for I believe is an estimate of TOTAL income to get your MAGI number and really just have the different categories to help you to that end. My understanding is they will compare what you estimate to your latest tax return numbers and if it's significantly different, then they will ask for documentation. But the key ultimately is that total number which then establishes your MAGI used for determining premium support and cost sharing assistance. As ziggy29 stated, you have control of capital gains to the extent of when you sell the assets.
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Old 11-01-2015, 06:29 PM   #30
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Does Arizona have a State Exchange by chance? Texas doesn't so I had to go through Healthcare.gov.
No, it's through healthcare.gov. But I filled out an application for 2014 coverage but ultimately cancelled my plan and stayed on a grandfathered one. There was no asking for naturalization papers then either. Perhaps components of that application have held over to later ones.
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Old 11-01-2015, 06:36 PM   #31
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I have only been a layabout for a few months and already my health plan got canceled.
Now that I look at plans for 2016 I was surprised to see that HSA compatible plans are more expensive than the cheapest.
I believe I have to pay for pretty much anything close to expect-able medical expenses out of pocket since paying an insurance company to pay it adds addition friction. So cheapest plans that protect me from the big stuff.
Looking at HSA vs non-HSA plans (me + wife + 2 kids) it seems so long as my marginal tax rate is above ~8% I should go HSA. Roth conversions will force me way above that. Looks like HSA plans have limits on the deductible (that seems strange to me).
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Old 11-01-2015, 06:38 PM   #32
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No, it's through healthcare.gov. But I filled out an application for 2014 coverage but ultimately cancelled my plan and stayed on a grandfathered one. There was no asking for naturalization papers then either. Perhaps components of that application have held over to later ones.
No worries, a minor irritation in the grand scheme of things. I got what I needed which were policy quotes and since I won't be signing up to a plan I won't have to later prove my US citizenship.
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Old 11-01-2015, 07:18 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Ian S View Post
Really what they are looking for I believe is an estimate of TOTAL income to get your MAGI number and really just have the different categories to help you to that end. My understanding is they will compare what you estimate to your latest tax return numbers and if it's significantly different, then they will ask for documentation. But the key ultimately is that total number which then establishes your MAGI used for determining premium support and cost sharing assistance. As ziggy29 stated, you have control of capital gains to the extent of when you sell the assets.

Ian, Ziggy, thanks to help clearify. Makes more sense when explained this way.
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Old 11-01-2015, 08:53 PM   #34
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I tried to change our income so it would be correct for 2016 and it funneled me into a special enrollment period and asked what health plan I wanted for December 2015 and told me to wait for 2016

I think this is going to require a call to a real person. I just purchased an extra 1000 minutes for my phone.
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Old 11-02-2015, 02:28 AM   #35
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I tried to change our income so it would be correct for 2016 and it funneled me into a special enrollment period and asked what health plan I wanted for December 2015 and told me to wait for 2016.
Updates made between 11/1/15-11/15/15 without going thru the 2016 application process will create a 2015 SEP. Wait until after the 15th to make those kind of updates. It's easier than going thru the entire 2016 application process to just update one item.
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Old 11-02-2015, 08:17 AM   #36
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Updates made between 11/1/15-11/15/15 without going thru the 2016 application process will create a 2015 SEP. Wait until after the 15th to make those kind of updates. It's easier than going thru the entire 2016 application process to just update one item.
Wish I had known that. Actually I thought I was updating 2016 information.

I wonder if there is any way to undo the update? I would rather not wait until Nov 16th to get this going since we might be busy during December.
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Old 11-04-2015, 06:35 PM   #37
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Seems to me that since ACA open enrollment started, BCBS by me is trying to do a fast pitch and have me hurry up and go with their watered down replacement plan as my last year's PPO plan is no longer offered.

By default, I'm in the new plan, if I just keep paying the premiums. I also got an email today reminding me to log on to confirm the new plan.

I'm leaning towards of going with the headache? option of getting my coverage through the exchange this year. Either a more comprehensive plan or that same watered down BCBS plan but not at the discounted marketplace rate.

My question is, if I go from off market to marketplace, is there a change I'd get a decline when applying saying that BCBS already has me enrolled by default?
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Old 11-04-2015, 09:00 PM   #38
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I'm a BCBS(IL) customer here too. My PPO plan has also been eliminated for 2016. WTH? I don't want to, but we will have to go with another insurance co. since our Dr's or hospital are not in the new plans. I will wait to the last moment hoping maybe they will change their minds. If not then Bye-Bye BCBS. The good news is next year's subsidy will be $400 more than last year's.
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Old 11-05-2015, 05:38 AM   #39
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....Going to need pinpoint precision on Roth conversions to bring income to exactly $22,000 (any less and you are on Apple health).
Can't you just put in more than enough and then recharacterize any excess?

That's what I do to make my TI exactly equal to the top of the 15% tax bracket.

After browsing this thread I am so thankful that we are healthy and have access to affordable bronze-like catastrophic health insurance that protects our finances from an expensive health event and access to negotiated rates for health care services and is affordable enough to have allowed us to forgo subsidies in favor of Roth conversions so we don't have to deal with healthcare.gov or our state portal.
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Old 11-05-2015, 06:03 AM   #40
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My question is, if I go from off market to marketplace, is there a change I'd get a decline when applying saying that BCBS already has me enrolled by default?
Probably not. When I faced this situation I was concerned BCBS would continue the policy despite not renewing it, but that didn't happen.
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