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Old 01-29-2013, 02:55 PM
SlackerInc SlackerInc is offline
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,548
How is Obamacare going to work for families that have expensive workplace health insurance?

I have googled and googled, and I think I understand what is going to happen next January for people around the poverty line or a little higher, and for people who are multiples of the poverty line and do not have any access to health insurance, but I'm still mystified as to what will happen for families like mine, that have access to workplace health insurance that is too expensive.

We are family of four with income at right about 200% of the federal poverty line; my wife is a teacher who is covered herself fully with no premium. But to add the family to her policy would cost about 15% of our gross income. If we had no access to workplace insurance at all, it appears we would be charged about 6% of our gross income after rebates to get insurance from one of the exchanges. The law says people with workplace insurance or access to workplace insurance are not eligible to buy from the exchanges and are not eligible for a subsidy unless the premiums would cost more than 9.5% of their income.

Everything I have read is maddeningly vague as to what happens if, as in our case, the premiums are in excess of that 9.5%. Do we get rebated down to 9.5%? Or do we end up paying 6% as we would if we were on an exchange? (Still a difficult expense to pay--I sure wish we had single-payer.) If the former, how in the world did anyone think it would make sense to penalise both employee and employer for having a workplace policy? (If that last question is off-topic for general questions, please ignore.)