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Old 04-02-2021, 03:37 PM   #101
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Medicare is more expensive than a heavily subsidized ACA plan. However, in our area all of the ACA plans are very narrow network HMO plans with no coverage outside of our metro area. We are very happy with my husband's Medicare plan as he is now covered nationwide -his self-employment work takes him all over the country and we normally make several long distance road trips a year also. The peace of mind with Medicare is great.
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Old 04-02-2021, 05:21 PM   #102
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I received a notification from FL BCBS that my premiums might be reduced and to call them.
Looking forward to that Monday conversation.
On a side note, reduced our car insurance by $800 yearly after some negotiating.
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Old 04-03-2021, 08:24 AM   #103
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Originally Posted by erkevin View Post
Eucerin- my premium doesn't do down until May's payment. If you have an account on healthcare.gov and a current 2020 application, go to the site and click on "update/change plans to save"
Thanks but my state has its own healthcare website, and doesn't have "update/change plans". I am so afraid to click on other links to lose my subsidies. Its a pain to deal with the state reps if I screw up something.
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Old 04-03-2021, 09:21 AM   #104
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Thanks but my state has its own healthcare website, and doesn't have "update/change plans". I am so afraid to click on other links to lose my subsidies. Its a pain to deal with the state reps if I screw up something.
As I wrote the other day, New York just announced they will be allowing us to get the higher subsidies. I just got a more official letter this morning. But the website is a PITA because I still have to update my application in order to select the higher APTC amount. And, like you, I am afraid I am going to screw something up. Even though I knew what screen to look for so I could change the APTC amount, getting to that screen took a while. Then, after I got there and changed the APTC amount, I got one of those "something went wrong" screens. So, I had to go back in and try to get to a screen which told me what my actual APTC amount is. It had the higher amount, which was comforting (unless it somehow wasn't actually "saved"). Not sure if I want to go back in there tomorrow to see if still has the higher APTC amount. The phone reps are so-so at best, too.
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Old 04-03-2021, 06:26 PM   #105
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I am actually impressed (a rare occurrence with the fed). I went to the ACA sit on the 1st and updated my current application in order to receive the subsidy. Today, I received my premium statement from BCBS Tennessee and it already reflects the lower OOP cost.
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Old 04-04-2021, 10:06 AM   #106
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Follow-up to what I wrote yesterday: My updated account info went through fine and my higher subsidy is in their system. Being it's so early in the month, my IC should be able to get it before they send out their May premium notice. They have sent out revised ones later in the month if new data arrives, so I expect to pay the lower amount regardless.
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Old 04-04-2021, 11:05 AM   #107
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Just checked the auto pay for April, still charged same amount as past month. I suppose I will get the tax credit for 12 month at the end of year. I don't or could think of any life change event to re-set the health insurance.
You don't need a life event to change. Somebody here posted the link. I went in and changed mine and will be saving $80 a month starting in May.
Check post #39 from Big Hitter for the link
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Old 04-04-2021, 11:08 AM   #108
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If you reapply, you quit your current policy and start a new one? So your deductible resets and you have only until December to get past it?

Sorry, I haven't paid much attention to this, so if that's a dumb question, please forgive me.

I'm in a location where the silver and bronze prices are such that I can go 399 FPL and have the PTC completely cover the bronze. I've made an uninformed guess that reapplication is not for me (one can't improve upon 'free'), but never like to assume anything; when it comes to laws, logic goes out the window.
When I talked to my insurance company they said my deductible "may" reset. I really haven't paid anything yet and one month savings more than offsets the loss.
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Old 04-08-2021, 12:51 PM   #109
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I went into healthcare.gov and did a life event update and picked our same current plan (BCBS NC). We will be saving $130/month. Hopefully, our deductible amounts do not get reset!
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Old 04-08-2021, 01:10 PM   #110
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I too filed a life event update and now qualify for an additional $100 a month toward a plan. I could switch from my current HD HSA Bronze to a Silver with a much lower deductible and OOP -- all for the same monthly price as the Bronze.

However, now I'm not so sure about my income estimate. I have been getting the extended UI benefits since my layoff. They are now being continued into September (originally they were supposed to stop in March). With my investment income, I could come in higher than expected in the end.

So, for now, I'm sticking with my Bronze. At the end of Q2 and Q3, I will reassess. I might need to file another life event update and perhaps pay higher premiums in Q4. If UI benefits were not a factor, I'd switch now for sure. Double-edged sword, I guess.
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Old 04-08-2021, 02:06 PM   #111
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Old 04-08-2021, 02:34 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by Ramen View Post
I too filed a life event update and now qualify for an additional $100 a month toward a plan. I could switch from my current HD HSA Bronze to a Silver with a much lower deductible and OOP -- all for the same monthly price as the Bronze.

However, now I'm not so sure about my income estimate. I have been getting the extended UI benefits since my layoff. They are now being continued into September (originally they were supposed to stop in March). With my investment income, I could come in higher than expected in the end.

So, for now, I'm sticking with my Bronze. At the end of Q2 and Q3, I will reassess. I might need to file another life event update and perhaps pay higher premiums in Q4. If UI benefits were not a factor, I'd switch now for sure. Double-edged sword, I guess.
Are you familiar with the provision in ARPA where people who have received UI benefits in 2021 are automatically assigned 133% FPL as their AGI for ACA purposes regardless of what their actual income is? Sure seems it would apply to you.

See slide 4 bullet point 4 here:

http://www.healthreformbeyondthebasi...3.21-Final.pdf
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Old 04-08-2021, 05:08 PM   #113
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Are you familiar with the provision in ARPA where people who have received UI benefits in 2021 are automatically assigned 133% FPL as their AGI for ACA purposes regardless of what their actual income is? Sure seems it would apply to you.

See slide 4 bullet point 4 here:

http://www.healthreformbeyondthebasi...3.21-Final.pdf
Thank you, SecondCor. I was not aware of this. When I filed my life event update, I noticed I was not asked about additional income beyond UI. If that's because it doesn't matter, then I guess I should go ahead and upgrade to that Silver plan. Slide 15 of that presentation shows a hypothetical scenario similar to my actual situation.

Here is a more detailed explanation:

ARPA provides special rules for taxpayers who have received, or been approved to receive, unemployment compensation for any week beginning during 2021.

For the tax year in which that week begins:

(A) the taxpayer is treated as an applicable taxpayer, and

(B) any household income of the taxpayer in excess of 133% of the FPL for a family of the size involved isn’t taken into account.

Taxpayers whose household income for 2021 exceeds 133% of FPL will receive a PTC calculated as if the income was 133% of FPL. This will result in an increase in the taxpayer’s PTC.

Taxpayers who received unemployment compensation for as little as one week during 2021 qualify for these rules for the entire year.
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Old 04-08-2021, 05:10 PM   #114
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Thank you, SecondCor. I was not aware of this. When I filed my life event update, I noticed I was not asked about additional income beyond UI. If that's because it doesn't matter, then I guess I should go ahead and upgrade to that Silver plan. Slide 15 of that presentation shows a hypothetical scenario similar to my actual situation.
Glad to help. I think that is a provision that only applies to 2021 and 2022 at the moment.
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Old 04-08-2021, 05:22 PM   #115
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I received a notification from FL BCBS that my premiums might be reduced and to call them.
Looking forward to that Monday conversation.
On a side note, reduced our car insurance by $800 yearly after some negotiating.
Update:
My brother and I saved 18 and 17 dollars monthly respectively due to the updated application. Worth the 20 minute phone call.

I must add that all my experiences with Healthcare Exchange reps have always been pleasant, accurate and efficient.
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Old 04-08-2021, 05:29 PM   #116
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I received an email from Massachusetts Health Connector telling me to expect a letter about how my ACA premium will change. They said no action is required.
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Old 04-08-2021, 05:54 PM   #117
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Are you familiar with the provision in ARPA where people who have received UI benefits in 2021 are automatically assigned 133% FPL as their AGI for ACA purposes regardless of what their actual income is? Sure seems it would apply to you.

See slide 4 bullet point 4 here:

http://www.healthreformbeyondthebasi...3.21-Final.pdf
OK, I am confused now. Based on this and the further details I added above, I went ahead and stepped through all the "life change update" process again.

Last night I entered my weekly UI payments but did not realize I also needed to include the additional $300 a month in federal Covid UI relief, which used to be excluded. So I updated this, raising my UI income considerably. Also last night, I missed the pulldown menu for adding other sources of expected income -- in my case, investment income -- which I had added in the first place when I signed up February. So I re-added that this time.

Now my results are showing that my subsidy is drastically lower and therefore my premiums much higher!

Has healthcare.gov not been updated yet with the new UI change? Should I wait a while I try this again? Or maybe time to make a phone call to the ACA?
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Old 04-08-2021, 06:45 PM   #118
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OK, I am confused now. Based on this and the further details I added above, I went ahead and stepped through all the "life change update" process again.

Last night I entered my weekly UI payments but did not realize I also needed to include the additional $300 a month in federal Covid UI relief, which used to be excluded. So I updated this, raising my UI income considerably. Also last night, I missed the pulldown menu for adding other sources of expected income -- in my case, investment income -- which I had added in the first place when I signed up February. So I re-added that this time.

Now my results are showing that my subsidy is drastically lower and therefore my premiums much higher!

Has healthcare.gov not been updated yet with the new UI change? Should I wait a while I try this again? Or maybe time to make a phone call to the ACA?
Dunno, I have a state exchange. Sorry, maybe others can help.
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Old 04-08-2021, 09:38 PM   #119
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I just spoke with a federal marketplace rep about the 133% FPL limit for people getting UI income (mentioned a few posts above). The question stumped her. She said my call was not the first to come in about this. She said it's possible that the change has not been added to the marketplace system yet.

Given a few options for how to proceed, I opted to file an appeal of my eligibility notice. No telling how long this will take.

I also asked about the consequences of getting my income estimates wrong (based on UI claims) and likewise did not get a clear answer. Normally there is a possible clawback of overpaid credits, but if there is now an amnesty period on that, the rep was unable to confirm it.

FYI, here is the text of the ARPA, officially H.R.1319:

SEC. 2305. REDUCED COST-SHARING.
(a) In General.—Section 1402 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is amended by redesignating subsection (f) as subsection (g) and by inserting after subsection (e) the following new subsection:


“(f) Special Rule For Individuals Who Receive Unemployment Compensation During 2021.—For purposes of this section, in the case of an individual who has received, or has been approved to receive, unemployment compensation for any week beginning during 2021, for the plan year in which such week begins—

“(1) such individual shall be treated as meeting the requirements of subsection (b)(2), and

“(2) for purposes of subsections (c) and (d), there shall not be taken into account any household income of the individual in excess of 133 percent of the poverty line for a family of the size involved.”.

(b) Effective Date.—The amendment made by this section shall apply to plan years beginning after December 31, 2020.


And again . . .

SEC. 9663. APPLICATION OF PREMIUM TAX CREDIT IN CASE OF INDIVIDUALS RECEIVING UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION DURING 2021.
(a) In General.—Section 36B of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by redesignating subsection (g) as subsection (h) and by inserting after subsection (f) the following new subsection:


“(g) Special Rule For Individuals Who Receive Unemployment Compensation During 2021.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—For purposes of this section, in the case of a taxpayer who has received, or has been approved to receive, unemployment compensation for any week beginning during 2021, for the taxable year in which such week begins—

“(A) such taxpayer shall be treated as an applicable taxpayer, and

“(B) there shall not be taken into account any household income of the taxpayer in excess of 133 percent of the poverty line for a family of the size involved. . . .
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Old 04-09-2021, 05:12 AM   #120
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We are not using ACA anymore but our son's family is. I told him about how the subsidies are increasing and that he could renew his info and get the increased subsidy. He went to his account to do that but his wife is now pregnant (YAY!) so when he submitted it made them eligible for Medicaid! It looks like he needs to have a larger income with a pregnant spouse.

I checked out the plan preview site and found the number he needs to not go to Medicaid. I hope he doesn't lose his regular ObamaCare insurance. He likes it and has paid part of the deductible already.

I told him the income is a guesstimate and it will all get reconciled next tax filing. What a crazy system! But it's worth it for the subsidies.
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