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Out of Work - NOW WHAT??

edited April 2016 in Obamacare Debates and Opinions Posts: 1
I've been out of work for almost a month, and continuing with my former employer's plan would cost me nearly a grand a month. I've seen claims that not having insurance for the month or two ( :-) ) I'd be out of work would cost me more in penalties than having insurance. I've been told also that a "bridge" policy may not be ACA compliant and still stick it to me with penalties. Another opinion is that getting minimal policy would be about 600 bucks a month. We paid off everything except our mortgage in the past couple of years when income was high. Wife is on medicare (71) with health problems. I get medication for BP, blood sugar, but am in pretty good shape otherwise. I've gotten scads of advice that basically sums up to "Well, what do YOU want to do?" I'd love to get opinions, and some sort of low-down on what the tax penalties will be for me in 2016. Is it REALLY going to end with my tax penalties being more than just getting something from one of the ACA exchanges? Seems the bottom of the barrel policy is still about 600 bucks.

Any advice?



  • edited March 2016 Posts: 3
    You would have to be an idiot to pay the penalty. There are like 30 exemptions. The one I have used for the past to years is " my insurance was cancelled and I found the new insurance to be unaffordable". Check that box, no paperwork or anything. Only fools pay the penalty.
  • Posts: 58
    If you are unemployed, you should adjust the income that you propose for the ACA so that whatever amount was our wages goes down to zero (and of course add any unemployment that you now get.)  The lower income will get you a better tax credit.
  • Have you filed for unemployment?  If so, did you ask the people there for information on this issue?  They should be able to help you as your issue is hardly rare when it comes to unemployment.

    Definitely file a "life change" to reflect your knew expected income.  This could make a big difference for you.  Something definitely seems wrong that you would have to pay $600 for a "bottom of the barrel" plan.  Those plans should not be running over $300 for those not getting any subsidy at all.
  • Posts: 70
    @Somuchforfreedom is right, there are ways around that penalty, and even if you did pay it, it is not that much.  1,000 per month is a lot to continue on a plan, and there are cheaper plans through Obamacare, at least from I have seen in my searches.  Of course then you have to consider coverage and what exactly you are looking for, which is much simpler in my personal case so that might factor into it.  You can go a couple months and be okay, so take some time and explore your options.
  • Posts: 6
    Also, be sure to check with the pharmaceutical companies that produce your (and your wife's) medications. They have programs to give you huge discounts based on low income--sometimes even FREE (samples or full size prescription). 

    Every little bit helps. I know that this is not advice on health insurance per se, but medication is one of the biggest reasons why people need insurance or health care services. 
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