Monday, February 16, 2015

Paybacks are Hell

You've heard the expression before. Paybacks are hell. This applies to Obamacrack as well.

Filing your 2014 taxes? Did you make more than you told the government you would make? All that free government cheese isn't looking so good these days.

Jane Riddle of Los Angeles was unemployed in late 2013 when she applied for an Obamacrack policy. With $0 income her health insurance premium came out to be a quite affordable $1 per month.

Then she got a job.

Then she filed her taxes.

That's when the trouble began.
Riddle landed a job in early 2014 at a life insurance agency, but since her new employer didn't offer health benefits, she kept her Obamacare plan. However, she didn't update her income with the California exchange, which she acknowledges was her mistake.
Now, she has to pay back the entire subsidy, which is forcing her to dip into her savings. - Money CNN


How many Jane Riddles are out there?
Between 4.5 million and 7.5 million taxpayers received subsidies for insurance premiums when they signed up for coverage on Obamacare exchanges, federal officials said. These folks had to forecast their 2014 income when they applied. Those who underestimated their earnings either will receive smaller tax refunds or will owe the IRS money.
Doesn't the government know how many people got free cheese? They gave out so many Obamabucks they lost track?
Some 53% of Jackson Hewitt clients who received subsidies have to repay part or all of it, with the largest being $12,000, said Mark Steber, chief tax officer. 
Over half missed the mark in estimating their income.

In all fairness, that is not an indictment of J - H, but rather a slam against the people that designed this mess.

Tell us how much you will make next year and we will give you free cheese. Miss the mark and we will ask for some (or all) of it back.

And consider the case of Erica Cherington that bought an Obamacrack plan for 2014 and only paid $89 monthly because her low income entitled her to a $284 per month taxpayer funded subsidy.

Then she got a new job that paid more. As a result she had to pay back $600 of her subsidy (a little more than 2 months worth).
To avoid this happening again, Cherington called the federal exchange to update her income, which she hadn't done when she changed jobs. Her revised monthly premium: $156 a month.
A case manager who handles disability payments, Cherington is now considering dropping her coverage and paying the penalty instead.
"It's not really affordable," she said of her new premium. "I don't know if I'll be able to keep it."

Her new premium is $2/day more and she is earning more income than last year, but she can't afford the higher premium with her higher wage base.

Yeah, paybacks are hell.

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