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Question about yearly income and eligibility

I will be leaving my job shortly to take some months off to address
a personal situation. The problem is that I will make less than the required income
to qualify for Obamacare in the two months I will have worked. I do plan to
find additional employment later in the year, even if only a temporary
position, which I expect will push me over the required amount. My questions
are as follows: Can I apply for and receive Obamacare when I leave my job even
though I am below the required income thus far, being that I do expect to earn more
later in the year? 2. In the unlikely (I hope) chance that I am unable to find
employment later in the year, what penalty will there be for receiving
Obamacare if I end up not qualifying for it (assuming I can get it in the first place)?

Thanks!

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Comments

  • Posts: 54
    First off, if you are in a state that has done the Medicaid expansion, your income of $0 going forward qualifies you for Medicaid.  If you are not in such a state, then that same $0 income would prohibit you from getting the premium tax credit, but you could still buy it on your own.  Regardless, presuming you work for a large enough company and have worked there for a long enough time (I think the minimum is no more than a year), you could get COBRA continuation coverage from your employer after you quit; you would need to check with your employer's benefits department, and you would have to pay the the full amount that your coverage costs (i.e., no contribution from the employer).

    Now, the way the quirky rules are (it was an oversight that no one had predicted, and the Republicans have been dead set against helping to fix the law), an individual who is qualified to receive "welfare" benefits - i.e., a citizen or permanent resident (green card holder) for over 5 years - is not eligible to get the premium tax credit (PTC) his income is less that poverty, even though such an individual who is NOT qualified (i.e., permanent resident for less than 5 years) is eligible!  Where is the outrage from President Trump?

    So if you are in this position of not getting a premium tax credit, there is still a solution.  First, you can simply say that you have no idea what your income will be, but your best guess now is that it will be around that in previous years, with the actual income used being AGI (actually, it's a MAGI that has a few adjustments that don't apply to most folks) from the latest tax form filed, which would be 2015 (and you could legally not file taxes until October 15) or 2016 if you decide to file before the application; the only problem with that is you would get a PTC for whatever that income was, and so you would be getting less than what it would be if you could perfectly prognosticate, but you would get the difference back as a tax refund.  Or, you could tally up what your income has been so far, and simply say that you expect to not make any more income. if it is enough, but if not enough, you could say that you *expect* to return to work and that your best guess is an income of around $X (where $X would be just over the poverty level).

    NOTE: The law is such that if someone is exactly at the poverty level, he is supposed to get the PTC, but the way that the federal Exchange (i.e., for states that did not set up their own exchange), there has been a bug in the software such that someone exactly at the poverty level is deemed to be ineligible for the PTC, but that someone with exactly $1 over that level is eligible!

    P.S. If somehow you are not getting the PTC, contact your Congressman about your issue and you will be referred to someone at CMS (i.e., the governmental agency managing the federal Exchange), or your state representative, if your state has its own exchange, in which a you will be referred to a similar staff member.


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