The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation offers a tool on its website to give you an idea of what Obamacare may cost you- the Health Reform Subsidy Calculator
The mechanics of Obamacare have been talked about to death. Yet, there’s been few answers to the question “What will Obamacare cost?”
And isn’t that what we’re all concerned with the most? How much it will affect our wallet?
What will Obamacare cost?
Plug in basic information into the Subsidy Calculator and you’ll get a pretty decent estimate….It estimates the law’s financial impact on you based on income, family size, age, and tobacco usage.
I’ve been playing around with the tool and have included my results below, complete with screenshots. I think it’ll be eye-opening for you. I recommend you use the tool for yourself to get a clearer picture of what 2014 will bring for you and your budget. You can access the Subsidy Calculator here.
Reminder: Tax credits/subsidies are only available to those whose incomes are between 138% and 400% of the Federal Poverty Level. I used both ends of the spectrum for my examples below.
Assumptions: For my examples, I used a family of 4, which translates to an income range between $32,499 and $94,200. I also assumed both adults were age 35, non-tobacco users and both kids were non-tobacco users. I also assumed employer coverage was NOT available.
What will Obamacare cost – at 138% Federal Poverty Level
Important notes: the above example estimates you will pay roughly 10% of the total premium. However, you have costs BEYOND the premium, namely the Out Of Pocket Cost. I call this “worst-case” scenario- you end up in the hospital for a few days and you’ll reach your Out of Pocket very quickly. You would owe that Out of Pocket to the hospital. In this example, it can be no more than $4,500. So, if you have a really bad year, it’s entirely possible you would have a total cost of $5,500 ($1,000 in premium + $4,500 in Out Of Pocket).
What will Obamacare cost – at 400% Federal Poverty Level
Notes on the above: Although the amount of subsidies decreases as your income increases (as should be expected), you can see that the Out Of Pocket also increases ($12,700 anyone?).
I do believe the Health Reform Subsidy Tool is a helpful resource. I, like most of the population, have been waiting for any clue to answer the question “What will Obamacare cost?” They may be estimates, but at least we have some numbers.
I also think using this tool will be a wake-up call for many. I think the biggest surprise will be that health care reform is not FREE. There is still cost involved. And that cost may not be as “Affordable” as previously thought.
What do you think about this tool? Helpful or not? Does it give you a clearer picture of what to expect in 2014? Or does it just confuse you more?
P.S. You can read my earlier posts about Obamacare, in case you need a refresher or need more information- Obamacare Basics Part 1-What It Means For You, Obamacare Basics Part 2: Individual Health Insurance Options and Ohio health insurance costs to increase due to Affordable Care Act.