APRIL 10, 2013

Obamacare is full of surprises, AMAC

Among the newest revelations is that subsidies for low and middle income families have 'strings attached'
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BOHEMIA, NY – "Nancy Pelosi warned that there would be plenty of surprises in the Affordable Care Act and she was right. It's almost as if we hear about new and unpleasant revelations each week," according to Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens.

Among the newest disclosures is that the government subsidies Obamacare will provide starting in 2014 for those who need help buying private health coverage have strings attached, Weber warned.

He explained that the size of your subsidy, if you are eligible, is directly related to your income. So, if you get a subsidy based on your previous year's earnings and you get a raise or your spouse gets a new job and you wind up making more than anticipated, you'll wind up having to pay back part of the subsidy you received.

"To add insult to injury, you will not receive the subsidy directly; the payment goes directly to your insurance provider. But, the bill for any repayments required on your part will come directly out of your pocket at tax time."

The Associated Press reported that a preliminary draft of the insurance subsidy application "runs 15 pages for a three-person family, but nowhere does it warn people that they may have to repay part of the subsidy if their income increases."

The AP report quoted Rep. Charles Boustany, R-La., chairman of the House Ways and Means oversight subcommittee, who commented that: "It's potentially going to come as a shock to individuals who meet that criteria where their income hits a point where they owe money back. The fact is, with variations in income, people could end up owing money back and that will create consternation and problems for them."

Obamacare called for the establishment of state insurance exchanges where users can choose a health care plan that suits them and the subsidies will be paid directly to the provider resulting in a discounted premium.

"Twenty-six states have decided not to establish these exchanges, so it is unclear how the subsidies will be administered and provided to individuals in those venues," Weber said.

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