Thursday, October 29, 2015

Gaba, Gaba Do!

Meanwhile, on Twitter: One of the folks I follow is Charles Gaba, with whom I rarely agree, but who does offer rational, generally well-researched conversation. He's also a blogger, and has published a really extensive and well-done post with Six Seven pieces of ACA/Open Enrollment advice.

I do have a major problem with #6:

"The tax penalty for *not* being covered is $695 or 2.5% of your taxable income this year."

It's not that the information is inaccurate - it's not. My problem with it is that the fine penalty tax is both a good deal, and toothless.

We had quite the little conversation (at 140 characters per), but it really boiled down to this: the minimum fine for 2016 is $695 per person, which translates to $58 per month. If you're not getting a subsidy, there's no plan at any age that's going to be that low. Then add in the $6,000+ out-of-pocket for the Bronze plan (cheapest metallic level), and the fine begins to look like a real bargain.

Are there downsides to this?

Of course: there's always the risk that you'll need care. But that's what EMTALA is for, no? Now, I'm not (necessarily) advocating this strategy for folks in general, but I do think it's important to recognize its plausibility for healthy folks who make too much to be subsidy-eligible.

Related: Fellow insurance pro and blogger Louise Norris has a new (free!) ebook out, and it's quite timely: The Insider's Guide to Obamacare's Open Enrollment. Available now (for free!) at Amazon.
blog comments powered by Disqus