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View Poll Results: For my health insurance now or in the future ...
I need an ACA subsidy to pay for health insurance 4 3.77%
I will try to manipulate my income in order to qualify and get an ACA subsidy 38 35.85%
I would use an ACA subsidy, but won't manipulate my income, and can still have health care 17 16.04%
I will not use an ACA subsidy for my health insurance 36 33.96%
Something else, but at least I answered the poll 11 10.38%
Voters: 106. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-08-2014, 12:31 PM   #21
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And now, re-reading the poll, it says "now or in the future", and the answers to those are different, so like most polls, I'll just skip answering.
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Old 11-08-2014, 12:32 PM   #22
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+1 I think it is likely that the cliff will catch some people by surprise (overtime, raise, or whatever) and they will be hopping mad with the commensurate political drama. I hope I am wrong.
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Old 11-08-2014, 12:41 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by daylatedollarshort View Post
One could live in this delightful gem for $1.8M and still qualify:

Hoarder House In Palo Alto Is On the Market for $1.8 Million
OT: That's what we call a 'scraper'. 1.8M for a corner lot in Palo Alto that's a 15 minute walk from FaceBook's corporate headquarters, and three blocks from the University Ave shopping district. Scrape, put 600K into constructing a 2 story McMansion, and list for 3M plus for a nice profit.
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Old 11-08-2014, 12:43 PM   #24
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I'm still wary of Exchange policies. My regular doc takes my private policy with Coventry but not Coventry's policy bought off the Exchange.
When I researched it last year for BlueCross, the policies from the exchange were exactly the same as those bought right from BCBS...after purchase, one can not be distinguished from the other.
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Old 11-08-2014, 01:06 PM   #25
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I answered the last choice because none of the more specific ones adequately described my personal situation. Here was my thought process:

I need an ACA subsidy to pay for health insurance

I qualify for a fairly small subsidy, so I don't really "need" one to pay for my HI. Just having a decent, affordable HI policy through my state's exchange is a vast improvement to the two options I tried out in the first 5 years (2009-2013) of my ER.

I will try to manipulate my income in order to qualify and get an ACA subsidy

It is not likely I will have to manipulate my income to qualify and get a ACA subsidy. I am near the top end of MAGI to qualify for my fairly small subsidy. However, I have the ability to do some tax-loss harvesting in case my income happens to exceed the MAGI limit (most likely due to a late-year cap gains distribution spike). I won't pull the trigger on the TLH unless I need to, as it is not an endless source of "negative" income.

I would use an ACA subsidy, but won't manipulate my income, and can still have health care

This is probably the closest choice for me but because of what I wrote just above, I did not select it because I will manipulate my income to retain the subsidy if I have to.

I will not use an ACA subsidy for my health insurance

Surely not true for me.

Something else, but at least I answered the poll

Therefore, I was left with this answer and explanation.
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Old 11-08-2014, 01:17 PM   #26
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OT: That's what we call a 'scraper'. 1.8M for a corner lot in Palo Alto that's a 15 minute walk from FaceBook's corporate headquarters, and three blocks from the University Ave shopping district. Scrape, put 600K into constructing a 2 story McMansion, and list for 3M plus for a nice profit.
Yeah, I know, it was a little dark humor left over from the recent house / net worth thread, since we've been house hunting in the Bay Area and that somewhat epitomizes what we've been seeing, even though we are looking in more middle class neighborhoods.
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Old 11-08-2014, 01:32 PM   #27
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Yeah, I know, it was a little dark humor left over from the recent house / net worth thread, since we've been house hunting in the Bay Area and that somewhat epitomizes what we've been seeing, even though we are looking in more middle class neighborhoods.
How discouraging! But don't be disheartened; as you know house hunting can be full of alternating thrills and disappointments, but hopefully eventually you can come up with something nice that is just right for you. Good for you to be approaching the task with a sense of humor, which I think helps.
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Old 11-08-2014, 01:58 PM   #28
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I tend to view the subsidy system as just another part of the tax code that makes the income tax code for MAGI between 35k and 95k extremely progressive for a family of 4. I don't understand the vitriol this whole thing invokes in some. There are a whole host of things I think are government sponsored abominations, but I can do absolutely squat about them so I don't bother incurring significant brain damage over things that I have as much control over as gravity.

This year will be a low income one for us, so we qualified for a subsidy and intentionally structured our finances to maximize it. 2015 will be a much higher income year for us, so we will not qualify for a subsidy. Instead we will run the healthcare premium expense through DW's small business and make use of an HSA to minimize taxes. I don't see any real difference ethically between what we do in 2014 and 2015. Anyone who wishes to try to enlighten me is encouraged to try.

I assume that the subsidies will eventually go away entirely, be subject to an asset test, or be heavily scaled back. So I will take them so long as I am eligible, but they are not part of my long term plans. That is part of the reason I am kicking the can on Roth conversions for now as well.
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Old 11-08-2014, 02:03 PM   #29
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How discouraging! But don't be disheartened; as you know house hunting can be full of alternating thrills and disappointments, but hopefully eventually you can come up with something nice that is just right for you. Good for you to be approaching the task with a sense of humor, which I think helps.
Thanks for the encouragement. The smart thing to do would just be to move further out, since we no longer have the full time tech jobs that are helping to push up the prices. But we like the weather, activities and the access to mass transit we have now, so maybe we will stay put. In the scheme of things I am sure this falls under "first world problems" and I try to remember each day to just be happy to have potable water and a warm bed to sleep in.
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Old 11-08-2014, 02:06 PM   #30
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I guess what I see is a lot of unintended consequences from the way the rules are written. I suppose that is always the case. Then more rules get written in an almost ad hoc way to try to prevent the previous unintended consequences which in turn cause more unintended consequences ad infinitum.

And then we end up with a complicated mess.

For myself, if I am somehow eligible for a subsidy in the future, you can be damn sure that I will claim it.
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Old 11-08-2014, 03:04 PM   #31
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I'm still in the accumulation phase and have a low income. I need the subsidy to be able to afford to pay for health insurance and still spend less than my low income. I will be paying close attention to whether those of us in a State Exchange will still get to have a subsidy. I will forgo health insurance rather than pay the full freight.
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Old 11-08-2014, 03:34 PM   #32
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I'm avoiding the ACA subsidy with a ten foot pole
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Old 11-08-2014, 03:45 PM   #33
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I'm still in the accumulation phase and have a low income. I need the subsidy to be able to afford to pay for health insurance and still spend less than my low income. I will be paying close attention to whether those of us in a State Exchange will still get to have a subsidy. I will forgo health insurance rather than pay the full freight.
I meant to say those of us in the Federal Exchange who don't have the option of a State Exchange.
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Old 11-08-2014, 04:19 PM   #34
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A lot of posters here rely on an ACA subsidy and all the more power to them. Unfortunately, if gotten through the Federal exchange, they will have to worry until June about whether the Supreme Court will rule they were never eligible. Congress could fix that nightmare scenario today with a single line of legislation but good luck with that. If the SC wipes them out do you suspect that Congress will throw a bone to those of you who got one by waiving repayment for subsidies already received and used?
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Old 11-08-2014, 08:34 PM   #35
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A lot of posters here rely on an ACA subsidy and all the more power to them. Unfortunately, if gotten through the Federal exchange, they will have to worry until June about whether the Supreme Court will rule they were never eligible. Congress could fix that nightmare scenario today with a single line of legislation but good luck with that. If the SC wipes them out do you suspect that Congress will throw a bone to those of you who got one by waiving repayment for subsidies already received and used?
The US does not break promises. That is not something they want to be known for. So I just don't think it's realistic that a promise that was made would be broken. So in light of that, I think that unless something happens before I hit "enter" on healthcare.gov November 21 (or whenever), I'll be good for my subsidy for 2015.
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Old 11-08-2014, 08:53 PM   #36
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I'm no worse off than the ~$2,300 a month we were paying before for a captive audience, COBRA conversion sham policy anyway.
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Old 11-08-2014, 09:06 PM   #37
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OT: That's what we call a 'scraper'. 1.8M for a corner lot in Palo Alto that's a 15 minute walk from FaceBook's corporate headquarters, and three blocks from the University Ave shopping district. Scrape, put 600K into constructing a 2 story McMansion, and list for 3M plus for a nice profit.

Not much of a house in PA for 600k construction costs. I'd say that's it's at least $400 sq ft to build an appropriate house there.


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Old 11-08-2014, 09:33 PM   #38
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The US does not break promises. That is not something they want to be known for. So I just don't think it's realistic that a promise that was made would be broken. So in light of that, I think that unless something happens before I hit "enter" on healthcare.gov November 21 (or whenever), I'll be good for my subsidy for 2015.
Seems to me we break them all the time. But, on the ACA, if it was a promise (and I agree that it was) the SC could not legitimately rule the subsidies out. The theory of the case is that the law never provided subsidies for people purchasing from the Federal exchange (thus there was no promise). Seems nutty to me but who knows what five justices may decide.
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Old 11-08-2014, 11:05 PM   #39
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I budgeted using the CA covered prices and cobra prices when I pulled the trigger for retirement.

That said - our household budget for a family of four will likely qualify us for a subsidy for 2015. (I retired mid year - so we don't qualify for 2014.)

If I get the subsidy - woo hoo. But I didn't rely on it to retire.

That said - I did take out a HELOC (currently untapped) - and may play with that in order to shift expenses to the next year if I have unanticipated major expense that kick us more than $10k above our budget. That cliff is something that should be planned for... if I can only be on the wrong side of the cliff one year, if I have a major one time expense that incurs more MAGI... I'll use the HELOC for income shifting to allow a different timing of IRA withdrawals.
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Old 11-09-2014, 06:39 AM   #40
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