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Author: 1HappyFool Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 726163  
Subject: Buying Into ZeroCare Date: 10/12/2013 10:04 AM
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I got the love letter from my health insurer telling me that my insurance plan would go away at the end of the year because it doesn't meet ZeroCare's minimum coverage limits. This is a busy time of the year for me, due to bouts of bambicide, firewood cutting, the approaching holidays, and guests visiting in December. So I decided to try to get a head start on finding a plan for 1/1/2014.

Like most Americans who don't qualify for Medicaid or Medicare, I was going to be forced to buy my coverage or pay a penalty. My current plan is a HDHP which I've paired with a HSA, mainly for tax reasons. The new plan that BCBS recommended would meet the ZeroCare minimums, but it mysteriously wouldn't maintain my eligibility for the HSA and it would be going away in December of 2014. My other alternatives would be the bronze silver and gold plans available from the (Peoples' Republic) Marketplace. I was warned that even with the potential for a Premium Tax Credit, these precious metals plans might be more expensive than the recommended interim plan. It was as if BCBS was saying, "Please don't blame us for the massive premium hike y'all stuck yourself with." BTW, Obamabots, BCBS is a not-for-profit entity in my state so don't blame the massive premium hikes on their profits.

So, I looked into the BCBS plans from the Marketplace and I carefully found the plans that let me keep the HSA. In the process I learned about the other two subsidies that future taxpayers will be on the hook for. They are called Cost Sharing Subsidies but they're paid directly to insurers on behalf of their low income subscribers. One of the cost sharing subisidies buys the Out-Of-Pocket-Maximum down on the silver plans. The OOPM can be as high as $12,800 for people who don't meet the income guidelines and can drop all the way down to the Deductible which is as low as $2800 for the plans offered to me.

The other subsidy increases the percentage that the insurance company will cover after meeting the Deductible from 70 or 80 percent to as much as 94%. But, only because I dug for this, I also learned that if I accept these cost sharing subsidies, I lose the HSA eligibility. Since both of us are pretty healthy and usually wouldn't spend even half of the Deductible annually, these cost sharing subsidies would be meaningless unless we suddenly have a huge increase in expenses. So I'll have to make sure the insurer doesn't enroll me for them in order to preserve my HSA eligibility.

But of course, the Premium Tax Credit, which low income people are eligible for even if they have HSAs, interests me for two reasons. It will lower my premiums and it will give me partial retribution for all the damage that Obamabots have done to my investments. So I ran the calculator BCBS provided, but initially, I didn't correctly enter our ages and the calculation assumed we are much younger than we really are. The tax subsidy that resulted is only about half of the premium for the lowest level bronze plan, which is still way more coverage than we want to buy.

But I detected the error in data entry and ran the calculator with our correct ages. This produced a much more satisfactory result. Yes, we are among the lucky few that will inadvertently and I'm sure unintentionally be helped by ZeroCare. By taking the tax credit in advance (paid directly to the insurer for my premiums), my premiums will drop to $0 and I'll get the rest of the tax credit as a refund when I file my annual tax return. Since I will still have the ability to contribute to the HSAs to zero out my tax liability, not only will we not be paying for health insurance, we will be getting a nice chunk of cash back. The net benefit for us next year over this year is more than $5500! Of course it's coming out of the future value of living in the USA, so the only way I can morally justify taking it is to keep voting against the people who either stupidly or cynically support this kind of agist and classist redistributionism in the name of the common good.

I'm sure that if any Obamabots are reading this, they'll claim that I'm a hypocrite for taking advantage of a subsidy that I think we shouldn't have, as if taking it is somehow expressing support for it. In your dreams, Obamabots. I'm simply using your morality against you as a matter of self-defense. You try to take from those who demonstrate competence through superior earning ability and set up a gravy train for you and your mediocretin friends. You ignored the possibility that it would cause abandonment and non-compliance. You made me eligible for it without requiring that I vote the way you do and I've jumped on your gravy train to help break the axles. Cause - effect.

You can bet I'll continue to vote against your anti-Capitalist candidates. I'd rather pay more and live in a free society than feed at the federal trough, but I'll play the hand I was dealt against you. I'll still vote for those who will oppose, even if only weakly, increasing social spending at the federal level. The proper place for experiments with socialism is at the state government level, where productive people can flee them without leaving the country or removing their productivity from the GDP. But you'll keep ignoring that and I'll keep raking in the benefits of your greed for the wealth of others. Don't expect me to be grateful for that, because I'm only getting "my fair share". :-D

1HF
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Author: 2828 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 700949 of 726163
Subject: Re: Buying Into ZeroCare Date: 10/12/2013 10:17 AM
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Great post 1HF, you still got it.

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Author: CCinOC Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 700953 of 726163
Subject: Re: Buying Into ZeroCare Date: 10/12/2013 10:54 AM
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I'm grateful for this thread, 1HP, because I've got to figure out how to maneuver around a ZeroCare health insurance premium that costs 2x as much with 2x higher deductible.

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Author: 307wolverine Big funky green star, 20000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 700954 of 726163
Subject: Re: Buying Into ZeroCare Date: 10/12/2013 10:56 AM
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I'm grateful for this thread, 1HP, because I've got to figure out how to maneuver around a ZeroCare health insurance premium that costs 2x as much with 2x higher deductible.

I'm soooooo blessed to be a federal retiree. Once I move, my new zip code will be within the TriCare Prime service area. Probably because of all the military retirees up there.

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Author: 1HappyFool Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 700965 of 726163
Subject: Re: Buying Into ZeroCare Date: 10/12/2013 12:12 PM
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Glad I could help CC. If you can get your "apparent" income below 400% of the federal poverty level, the subsidies start to kick in to help you Stick it to those who caused this fiasco. I was surprised it worked out as well as it did for us. I can't help but think this level of generosity with the future's money will lead to some sort of major politico-economic shift to the US, probably either a breakup or a superunion with the rest of North America. It's gonna get pretty ugly.

1HF

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