Letter to the Editor

Subsidy cliff

Arroyo GrandeDecember 21, 2013 

I’m hoping to inform Californians about a financial cliff contained in Covered California’s health insurance cost.

When I entered the information requested here: http://www.coveredca.com/shopandcompare/#calculator, including the number of people in our household (two), our ages (63 and 46), and our estimated income for 2014, I was shocked to learn that if I entered $63,000 as our annual income we were not eligible for any premium subsidy. If, however, I entered my income as $62,000 we qualify for a subsidy of $655 per month. That’s a $7,860 difference in health insurance cost.

We’re actually considering cutting our work hours, or taking unpaid vacation to make sure we don’t fall over this cliff. It doesn’t seem like a smart idea to encourage people to work less to avoid this enormous price difference, but there it is.

I encourage all who are shopping for insurance under Covered California to determine if you’re close to the cliff and to determine your best course of action.

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