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Catastrophic, Early Retirement, and Subsidies

  • If you are under 30, or are older and qualify, you can get catastrophic coverage.
  • This coverage may save you $100 a month(?) - depending on how healthy you are.
  • Being early retired, I chose this option because at my income level ($0) I cannot qualify for a subsidy.
  • Today, I called the Healthcare,Gov help line to ask a question.  While waiting on the phone, I listened to their "waiting message" that stated that the average user of healthcare.gov is paying less than $75 a month.  Of course I could not fathom how it is that I - with $0 income can be paying $355 a month when others are paying less than $75.  So, I asked.
  • The response - after two calls and a total of 2 hours on hold was that... they cannot tell me how this is so.  But it has to do with subsidies.
  • So, thinking about this, and knowing that you have to have some income to get a subsidy and knowing too that a IRA conversion counts as income I asked how much income I would need to get the minimum subsidy and how much it would be.  Again, they said they could not tell me. 
Here is the part that really burns me.  I was cautioned that manipulating my income to get a subsidy is considered tax fraud.  My response was that a Roth Conversion is completely legal and that there is noting illegal about what I am asking.

So, my question to those who understand what I am saying here, is this... do you have any insight as to how it could be that making a completely legal conversion and then taking advantage of that is anything but following the rules as they have been laid out?  

If it is somehow illegal to do tax planning in oder to achieve this goal can you point to the specific laws controlling this?  Is there anyone here who understands the AHC act well enough to advise on what action can and should be done to save?  

As it is, I am paying the cost of a car in premiums and deductible every year, and getting nothing for my money.  
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