Obamacare and You: Subsidies

A special section on the ACA (Obamacare) was published in my local newspaper on September 22nd and has valuable information for Washingtonians and others.

For the moment, let’s set aside the economics debate about whether subsidies create disincentives or not. That is not my concern now, nor does it need to be yours. This post is aimed at people who have waited for Obamacare so they can use it! (not discuss it in a theoretical fashion) 

English: Barack Obama signing the Patient Prot...

English: Barack Obama the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act at the White House (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This post wants to share the facts and then you can make an     informed decision, get health  coverage, and maybe save some money along the way.

One valuable section of the ACA allows for subsidies:

If you make up to $45,950 ($94,200 for a family of four) you may get a subsidy that will decrease your premiums, or even allow you to trade up for better coverage while using the subsidy.

Some of us will just be happy to save a few bucks per month to apply to our increased deductibles. I’m not blaming the ACA for that change -the $250 annual deductible (as recently as 5 years ago and fondly recalled by me) is insurance history. Good news: there is dental coverage for children under 19. Bad news:  adult dental coverage was excluded  from the ACA, so those of us with previously bundled dental coverage will have to shop outside the exchange for dental (will it be more expensive?)

However, people who earn less than a modified adjusted gross income (MAGI)  of $45,950 per year may very well immediately reallocate any savings  to other parts of their budget. Deductibles, groceries, retirement savings.  This could be good for our collective economy.
Here is one link to a subsidy calculator that anyone from across the country can use. The calculator shows prices for a ‘Silver’ plan, there are also Bronze, Gold and Platinum plans. I didn’t see a Platinum plan for my state yet, but that may change.

If you receive a subsidy how will you use the money you save? Will you trade up in coverage? Will you be getting coverage for the first time?
Please tell us in the comments.

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