AFFORDABLE [uh-fawr-duh-buhl] adj.

According to dictionary.com, affordable means, “believed to be within one’s financial means.” Obviously the politicians in Washington took this definition literally when they passed the Affordable Care Act.

According to an article in Forbes this past week, individual health insurance premiums will increase by an average of 41% across the country. Offering subsidies to a small subset of Americans to help offset substantially higher rates for everyone else doesn’t make sense.  However by this definition, all they needed to do was to make health insurance within one’s financial means.  And as of yesterday we know at least 5 have enrolled so far.

The Manhattan Institute put together an excellent interactive map that shows pre and post ObamaCare rates for each state:

Manhattan Institute - Know Your Rates

Manhattan Institute – Know Your Rates

There are winners and losers in ObamaCare.

Winners: unhealthy people that were forced into expensive state pool guaranteed issue health plans that can now get any plan they choose without proof of insurability
Winners: low wage earners that qualify for expanded Medicaid or a substantial premium subsidy (and actually make it through healthcare.gov)

Losers: everyone else

I guess it all depends on what your definition of the word “Affordable” is…

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ObamaCare Calculators

MyObamaCareCalculator.com

MyObamaCareCalculator.com

Yes, the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) is upon us. As of now (August 2013) there are still way more questions than answers.

Should I keep my existing plan or get a new EXCHANGE plan?

Should employees & their dependents remain on employer group plan or get their own individual policy?

Will I qualify for a subsidy?

We have assembled several calculators available today that can help make preparing for 2014 much easier.

Although the employer mandate has been postponed until 2015, the individual mandate still applies.  Anyone not covered by Minimum Essential Coverage next year could be subject to a penalty tax of the greater of $95 per uninsured or 1% of household over the filing threshold:

INDIVIDUAL PENALTY TAX CALCULATOR

All new health insurance plans will be guaranteed issue and required to include essential health benefits which will greatly increase premiums.  The Public Exchanges (both state and federal) are to be open in October.  People making less than 400% of poverty level could be eligible for subsidized health insurance plans if they are purchased on the State / Federal Exchanges. It is estimated that 26 million should be eligible for these subsidies, however only 6 million are estimated to enroll in 2014. Here is a calculator to see if you would be eligible for a subsidy:

INDIVIDUAL / FAMILY SUBSIDY CALCULATOR

Small businesses with less than 25 employees that earn less than $50,000 average annual salary and pay at least 50% of their health insurance premiums could also qualify for a small business tax credit.  For 2014 the tax credit is only available if the plan is purchased through the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace:

SMALL BUSINESS HEALTH INSURANCE TAX CREDIT CALCULATOR

Don’t wait until it’s too late.  If you are relatively healthy, you could save money by applying now BEFORE all plans are guaranteed issue and are weighed down with expensive government mandated benefits next year.

INSTANT ONLINE HEALTH INSURANCE QUOTE

Or you can call an independent health insurance agent at 913-432-2732.

Although the employer mandate has been delayed 12 months, businesses are still concerned about how to minimize (or eliminate) their exposure in 2015. This calculator helps calculate how many full time equivalent (FTE) employees you have and what your potential penalty might be if/when the employer mandate is reinstated:

EMPLOYER MANDATE CALCULATOR

And finally, for those of you with seven minutes to spare, here are the YouToons simplifying ObamaCare: