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ACA penalty goes away October 1st: best alternatives?

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  • ACA penalty goes away October 1st: best alternatives?

    I was reading a recent POF piece (https://www.physicianonfire.com/health-insurance-early-retiree) and wanted to get the opinion of the forum of an independent contractor's best options.

    The ACA penalty is in force for 2018 but the easiest exemption is a 3 month or less gap in coverage. So one could drop coverage for the last 3 months of 2018 and not face this tax. (Per discussion with an agent this is one of the reasons the ACA is failing because many middle class families would gamble on their health to have some more holiday money.)

    I want good insurance for my family but I'm forced to pay >$1k/month for an ACA compliant policy that excludes the biggest hospital in town, has a $13k deductible, and has no competition so will only go higher.

    So for an IC doc who really only wants an unlimited catastrophic plan that is HSA eligible what do you guys see as the best options out there?

  • #2
    I'll reassess next December but don't plan to make any changes between now and then. With a $13K deductible, it sounds like you already only have catastrophic coverage, so the only way your insurance can be cheaper is by covering less stuff. Health Sharing Plans do that, but unfortunately don't qualify for an HSA and the equivalent of premiums aren't tax deductible. So far, those two things are keeping us in health insurance instead. But if the prices get too far apart, we may end up in a health sharing plan.
    Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

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    • #3
      The exemption to the ACA individual mandate penalty is < 3 months not <= 3 months. For most people this means 2 full months of coverage.

      For 2018 the penalty is the greater of $695/adult or 2.5% of MAGI assessed monthly.

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      • #4
        2.5% of MAGI seems like a lot.

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        • #5




          I’ll reassess next December but don’t plan to make any changes between now and then. With a $13K deductible, it sounds like you already only have catastrophic coverage, so the only way your insurance can be cheaper is by covering less stuff. Health Sharing Plans do that, but unfortunately don’t qualify for an HSA and the equivalent of premiums aren’t tax deductible. So far, those two things are keeping us in health insurance instead. But if the prices get too far apart, we may end up in a health sharing plan.
          Click to expand...


          The thing is the shake up is going to be huge. Basically it will bring back the pre-existing condition policies and less of a slant towards helping the relatively (not medicare) older. I am not a fan of the ACA but this tax bill will cause it to implode quickly. I think the GOP is trying to force the issue despite not having consensus on the solution.

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          • #6
            The exchanges will quickly become the default catastrophic insurance with the no preexisting clause in play -- the "affordable" has always been a misnomer without a government option to counterbalance the premiums.   Without the young healthy population; premiums will balloon out

            We're definitely dialing it back to the days of pre-ACA with skinny plans for the healthy.   Americans as a whole just don't care about an issue until it's active and cannot be ignored.  Look how our government does omnibus budgets for the past 2 decades--- SMH.

            OP, wait if you can -- a lot will clarify come 1/2019.

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