What if, over a period of 4 years, the US Government raised fuel taxes causing gasoline to increase from $3.50 to $12.32 a gallon and called this the Affordable Petroleum Act? Percentage wise, this is exactly what has happened to my Affordable Care Act insurance premiums since I retired in 2011.
I’ll stay away from political opinions here and just state the facts regarding my costs of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. In 2011 our Obamacare health insurance premium for two was $426 a month, or about $5,100 a year for a $10,000 deductible policy. My premium for 2016 has now increased to $1,497 a month, or almost $18,000 a year for a $12,000 deductible policy. Does anybody REALLY think this is a good idea?
We are two healthy non-smokers taking no prescriptions and with no pre-existing conditions. It makes no sense that Obamacare would require us to pay almost $30,000 in a year before Wellmark Insurance of South Dakota contributes a single $1.00. How can an annual $18,000 premium be justified? The answer is it cannot be, we are simply subsidizing others in the plan.
Is there a way out of this mess? What are my options?
Here are some actual Obamacare exemptions which relieve taxpayers of the obligation of buying Obamacare insurance or paying the IRS penalty.
1) Members of Indian Tribes – You are exempt if you are a member of a federally recognized Indian tribe, including an Alaska Native, or you were otherwise eligible for services through an Indian health care provider. This also applies to non-Indian spouses married to Indians….Hmmmm, does anybody know if Cher is still available?
2) Members of a health care sharing ministry – This exemption applies to a member of a health care sharing ministry, whose members share a common set of ethical or religious beliefs and have shared medical expenses in accordance with those beliefs continuously since at least December 31, 1999. I do not know of any such groups and am not sure they would have me as a member.
3) Incarceration – You are exempt if in a jail, prison, or similar penal institution or correctional facility. Being on probation does not count for this exemption. This is another unlikely option, plus the wheels of justice turn slowly and I need an exemption pronto.
4) Citizens living abroad – You are exempt from participating in Obamacare if you are a U.S. citizen or resident who spends at least 330 full days outside of the U.S. during a 12-month period. Now there is an exemption worth exploring!
Yes, we are currently working on the details of our most extensive retirement trip yet. We will start in Barcelona, Spain, visit Morocco, Portugal south of France and many parts unknown. Best of all, we have a fresh $18,000 saved from Obamacare insurance premiums annually to spend on such an adventure. Stay tuned….
Just to serve as some back-up evidence, below is the eHealth Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Dakota product offering. It verifies the least expensive health insurance offering, a bronze plan, costs $1,497.13 a month.
‘HSA’ above stands for Health Savings Account.