Reader comments

On Letter: Health exchange stats


hillsandtrees 4 years, 9 months ago

I'm a senior and I don't see how the ACA is bad for us. We get preventive care that wasn't covered earlier, and additional money covers drugs. I only wish we'd had it all those years we were denied regular health insurance coverage.

Carol Bowen 4 years, 9 months ago

I'm a senior. The ACA now provides preventive care. My sons have needed assistance off and on because of the high cost of individual health insurance coverage - high premiums, high deductibles, and low coverage. According to AARP, many seniors have been helping their adult children. So, ACA will provide relief to seniors who have been helping their children. How do you think seniors are adversely affected by obamacare?

Liberty275 4 years, 9 months ago

"I'm a senior. The ACA now provides preventive care"

The ACA isn't going to provide you anything. Taxpayers will be providing your preventative care.

"So, ACA will provide relief to seniors"

By making other people pay for more of their health care.

"How do you think seniors are adversely affected by obamacare?"

You will have lots of time to wonder about that when it takes 4 weeks to see a specialist instead of 3 days.

Janella Williams 4 years, 9 months ago

Lynn731, can you please be more specific on how exactly ACA "sucks"? I don't think you know what you are talking about.

Janella Williams 4 years, 9 months ago

Here is the truth on what it does and how it helps: • Ends Pre-Existing Condition Exclusions for Children: Health plans can no longer limit or deny benefits to children under 19 due to a pre-existing condition. This gets expanded to everyone in 2014. • Keeps Young Adults Covered: If you are under 26, you may be eligible to be covered under your parent’s health plan. • Ends Arbitrary Withdrawals of Insurance Coverage: Insurers can no longer cancel your coverage just because you made an honest mistake. • Guarantees Your Right to Appeal: You now have the right to ask that your plan reconsider its denial of payment. • Ends Lifetime Limits on Coverage: Lifetime limits on most benefits are banned for all new health insurance plans. This helps people, who because of an illness that is long lasting or expensive, will meet the insurance policy lifetime limit. • Reviews Premium Increases: Insurance companies must now publicly justify any unreasonable rate hikes. • Helps You Get the Most from Your Premium Dollars: Your premium dollars must be spent primarily on health care – not administrative costs. • Covers Preventive Care at No Cost to You: You may be eligible for recommended preventive health services. No copayment. • Protects Your Choice of Doctors: Choose the primary care doctor you want from your plan’s network. • Removes Insurance Company Barriers to Emergency Services: You can seek emergency care at a hospital outside of your health plan’s network.

Robin Jones 4 years, 9 months ago

To say nothing of the 21new taxes it creates.

Janella Williams 4 years, 9 months ago

I need you to show your work. Instead of declaring something without proving it. I'm constantly shocked how mean people are when it comes to caring for sick people. Is it really that hard to put yourself in someone else's shoes. It might be you, or someone you care about, in need someday.

Robin Jones 4 years, 9 months ago

First, I have read the whole ACA. Have you? Second, I have been employed in the Health Care arena for 32 years. Have you? Third, I'm sorry if exposing the truth of this sham of a bill is "mean" to you. Fourth, it already has been me and so I'm experienced in that area as well. Are you? Fifth, I've had enough of paying over 50% of my income in taxes so other people that are unwilling to take the risks and work the hours I have as an entrepeneur and job creator can vilify me as greedy, insensitive and "mean". How many jobs have you created?

Here is one of the many links you could have found yourself if you wouldn't have spent the time vilifying me when I actually already have done the research years ago: www.atr.org/full-list-obamacare-tax-h...

Janella Williams 4 years, 9 months ago

I have had the same full time job for 14 years. I also work part time. So I am a productive tax paying member of society. I probably pay more in taxes than you. I also have a serious disorder that I will have for the rest of my life, and that I have been dealing with for 13 years, so I know the horrors of the health insurance world. I have had enough of lifetime limits, huge out of pockets, the fear of being denied for a pre-existing condition, and the insurance companies not viewing patients as human beings. If you don't like having to help your employees, then may I suggest a different line of work? The first step in being a "job creator" is having value in your employees and wanting them to be healthy, and if they are sick, wanting them to get the help they need.

Robin Jones 4 years, 9 months ago

You know nothing about how I treat my employees, or about me in general. And now that I have provided information that doesn't conform to your agenda, you're into personal attacks. Please stop because its a worn out playbook you're using.

Janella Williams 4 years, 9 months ago

Thank you for your benevolent service to our country Robin, no one appreciates it more than you, I'm sure. Fox News has already made all your worn our arguments for you.

Robin Jones 4 years, 9 months ago

Thanks for that enlightening reply, chock full of facts relevant to the question at hand. Have a great day Hawkanator!

Janella Williams 4 years, 9 months ago

As has your replies been. Just following you gracious lead.

Seth Peterson 4 years, 9 months ago

For someone who has yet to use facts in this discussion, even after being requested you don't have a lot of room to make that comment.

Janella Williams 4 years, 9 months ago

Also, I'm curious how me having an illness is a "worn out play book." I'm simply letting you know where I am coming from and how my life situations have formed my opinions.

chootspa 4 years, 9 months ago

I can give you a recommendation for a better accountant. Sounds like you need it.

msezdsit 4 years, 9 months ago

"First, I have read the whole ACA." and interpreted it with your biases even if you really did read it.

"Second, I have been employed in the Health Care arena for 32 years."hmm, been a part of the problem for 32 years.

Repeating the republican talking points and patronizing yourself as a job creator doesn't support any of your unsubstantiated claims. Funny how all you people think your the only one who works and everyone you disagree with doesn't. At least you provide a little humor.

Robin Jones 4 years, 9 months ago

Exactly what claims are unsubstantiated?

jafs 4 years, 9 months ago

Well, so far none of your claims are substantiated, since your link didn't work.

chootspa 4 years, 9 months ago

The link was supposed to point to Grover Norquist's site and lists 20 alleged "new taxes," although some are just modifications of existing taxes. They include things like a tax on tanning beds (Boehner weeps) and the individual mandate.

jafs 4 years, 9 months ago

Ah, Norquist.

Well, not a source I would immediately trust.

chootspa 4 years, 9 months ago

Exactly. But then an insurance agent isn't exactly an unbiased source of info about a law designed to increase market competition and lower the cost of insurance, either.

madman 4 years, 9 months ago

Actually, this law is just going to make insurance agents more money. Most of them will have access to all the different companies and be able to make a commission off something people are now forced to buy.

Liberty275 4 years, 9 months ago

If you knew how to delete the period and end-paragraph formatting from the link it would have worked. That's pretty advanced stuff though. It worked for me.

Liberty275 4 years, 9 months ago

It's possible. 30% federal, 10% state, 8% sales, 6% property tax, $1/gallon gas tax, taxes on liquor and smokes, car tags, cell phone tax, etc. For people with inherited property and low incomes, taxes could easily hit 50%.

Liberty275 4 years, 9 months ago

The fact remains that you can pay 50% in taxes. At some point, we may inherit a fairly nice house and the taxes on the house will be half of our income at 1.5 %. It isn't hard to reach 50% taxation.

jafs 4 years, 9 months ago

1.5% on a $500K house is $7500.

That would be annual property taxes. Most people who live in $500K houses make significantly more than $15K/yr.

jafs 4 years, 9 months ago

No way.

People with "low incomes" generally pay lower tax rates, so there's no way they'd pay 30% of their income to federal income tax - we pay about 20% and we're in the middle class.

And, there's no way they're paying 6% property taxes - we're paying about 1/5 of that.

Also, just a suggestion - perhaps people with low incomes shouldn't spend a lot of their money on liquor and smokes.

Liberty275 4 years, 9 months ago

Who said anything about people with low incomes? They usually pay very little in taxes. The 6% thing was a brain short circuit. We pay property tax and I know it isn't that much. Mia culpa on that one.

jafs 4 years, 9 months ago

You did - "people with inherited property and low incomes".

Carol Bowen 4 years, 9 months ago

It's difficult to find current information. I did find the following:

19 Declared State-based Exchange (Includes D.C.) 7 Planning for Partnership Exchange 25 Default to Federal Exchange

at http://obamacarefacts.com/state-health-insurance-exchange.php

Robin's information is slightly outdated. Mine may be outdated, also. The websites do not have dates.

Liberty275 4 years, 9 months ago

Some of you have read this thing, or so you say. So tell us, will insurance bought through an employer or anywhere outside an exchange continue to be tax deductible?

Janella Williams 4 years, 9 months ago

Do you mean will your monthly payment it come out of your pay check pre-tax, if you get it through your employer? I think that is still the case.

jafs 4 years, 9 months ago

Why not go to one of the sites established by the feds to find out. I'm sure you're not the only one with that question.

Google ACA information site or something like that - I'll bet you can get your answer that way.

Also, I'm curious - why should buying health insurance be deductible? It's an expense like many others - do you think that all of our living expenses should be tax deductible?

Liberty275 4 years, 9 months ago

I can't find a definitive answer. I've heard that no heath insurance will be pre-tax, I've heard exchange-purchased plans will be tax-exempt and nobody seems to know if HSAs will still be available because the law fixes the annual deductibles too low to qualify for HSAs.

Unfortunately, I didn't give enough campaign contributions to buy an exemption, so I have to have something in place in 4 months or pay a tax for getting nothing.

"do you think that all of our living expenses should be tax deductible?"

Yes. The standard deduction handles most of it..

jafs 4 years, 9 months ago

Well, I checked the website - healthcare.gov - but didn't get an answer from their live chat feature.

They referred me to the IRS - so I'm on hold there.

Have you tried these things already?

There was something called an FSA I saw, but it has a limit of something like $2500. It's frustrating with large programs like this sometimes trying to get answers to questions.

jafs 4 years, 9 months ago

Still on hold, having been transferred twice.

But I checked the IRS website, and found that the value of employer provided health insurance isn't taxable.

There are other possibilities of course, and I'm sure some frustrating complexities, but that's what I've found so far.

I love it when they say your wait time is 4 minutes, and then it's 20 minutes before somebody comes on the line.

There are a lot of exceptions to the tax on individuals who don't have health insurance - you might qualify for one of them.

And, if your income is between 1-4x the poverty level, you'll qualify for federally subsidized insurance through the exchanges, which brings your cost down quite a bit. In fact, it would probably be lower cost for you than any tax deductions would bring.

I'm sorry, but I'm tired of tying up my phone on hold. Hope what info I could find was helpful.

Liberty275 4 years, 9 months ago

Jafs, you are a prince (or maybe a princess). We may not agree all the time, but that doesn't matter. You are good people.

I'm sure we will get it worked out, but under the old system we would already be set. Right now we have no clue what to do or how much it's going to cost. Luckily, my boss is meeting with an adviser next week regarding the ACA and hopefully he will have some answers.

We are a bit over 4xPoverties, so I don't expect any help from uncle sam or uncle sam brownback.. We will pay full boat.

jafs 4 years, 9 months ago


Change is always a bit stressful, even if it's a positive change. We'll just have to wait and see on the ACA for a while before knowing how to evaluate it in it's entirety.

Oh, and I'm a prince, just for the record :-)

chootspa 4 years, 9 months ago

The answer is no. If you got pre-tax health insurance from your employer, you still get pre-tax health insurance.

From the IRS website:

Reporting Employer Provided Health Coverage in Form W-2 The Affordable Care Act requires employers to report the cost of coverage under an employer-sponsored group health plan on an employee’s Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, in Box 12, using Code DD. Many employers are eligible for transition relief for tax-year 2012 and beyond, until the IRS issues final guidance for this reporting requirement.

The amount reported does not affect tax liability, as the value of the employer excludible contribution to health coverage continues to be excludible from an employee's income, and it is not taxable. This reporting is for informational purposes only, to show employees the value of their health care benefits.

jafs 4 years, 9 months ago

That's what I found too.

But, I'm not sure what it means if employees pay part of their premiums - it's possible that the employee contribution will be taxable, isn't it?

chootspa 4 years, 9 months ago

Was it taxed before? I don't think that part changes.

Liberty275 4 years, 9 months ago

No, the $600/month we paid was not taxed. If health insurance is no longer paid pre-tax, we will owe taxes on an additional $7200, which will also put us into a higher bracket, costing us even more.

20% of $7200 is $1440. That is $1440 cut completely out of our budget. If a man robbed you of $120 every month so he could go see the doctor, what would you call him?

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