Friday, October 4, 2013

What's in Your Wallet?

…Platinum, Gold, Bronze, or Silver?  The more you have in your pocket will be a determining factor for your premium costs in the Affordable Care Act mandate.  In September, I went into to get a general idea of what to expect through the Health Insurance Marketplace.  My sneak preview indicated…..
"You may be eligible to get quality health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace.  But based on the information you provided, you probably won't qualify to save money on your monthly premiums or out-of-pocket costs.  You'll find out for sure when you apply for coverage starting October 1, 2013".            

Now these results are based on our estimated income for 2014.  This is difficult to project since we have been unemployed since February 2013.  Dwight is taking early Social Security and it will begin this month.  For the unemployed this is a major PRAISE!  With the loss of income, we have been living on my Social Security and Dwight’s pension.   These were the figures I factored into the estimate calculator and the resulting premium cost represented 22.57% of our estimated future household income—and this was for their more affordable Silver plan.  Unbelievable!  Needless to say, we will be doing a lot of research and study between now and the deadline to see what we can find that is actually “affordable”.

I have been checking different online financial sites to see if there is a “new” budget percentage for healthcare and insurance.  From one site to the next there are small variances, but none showed more than 10 percent for Medical/Healthcare.  I could not find any adjustments made to the percentages with the Affordable Care Act in mind.  This makes me think everyone is ignoring the elephant in the room and hoping it will go away.

6% for the National Average Budget Category Percentages of Net Income
5-10% for Dave Ramsey
5-10% for Desjardins Financial

If we opted for the “affordable” premium cost of the Silver plan (which we can NOT) then there would have to be major budget adjustments elsewhere and honestly who can easily make such modifications?   In our state of unemployment, our cutbacks have been dramatic and the next step we have wanted to avoid is the sale of our home.  For the first time in our lives, we have no health insurance.  When Dwight worked for the City of Wylie, the deduction for our health insurance was 8.7579% of his gross income.  After Dwight’s leave, the amount quoted for COBRA was actually $1,500.00 more a month than what we were paying when he was employed.  There was not a decision to ponder as we absolutely could not begin to afford COBRA with no jobs in sight. 

This path we have been diverted to has been scary, but we remind ourselves that since we married we are continually “stepping out in faith” and this is just another one of those “steps” in life.  We are truly thankful that the Lord is carrying us through these troubling times and providing and blessing us in ways we never could have imagined.   God has entrusted us as He does everyone with much to deal with in this life---unfair and unexplained circumstances and burdens that we all have to embrace.  We can accept where we are at this moment with absolute thanksgiving, as we know His hedge of confinement is for our good at this time and that He will bring all of this together for our good as well.  Once I know how it works out, I will share it with you, as I know it will be better than what I could ever dream.  Be safe, stay healthy, and make sure you eat that apple a day!                 

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