- Posted October 11, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Obamacare: Your story
Hoosiers Not Eligible for Tax Credit Subsidy?
- Jareen, CNN iReport producer
Can you believe it?
After taking over a week to finally navigate the Marketplace Exchange to see what health insurance plans my life partner Iohn may be eligible to enroll in, it may turn out the most affordable, with the best benefits to meet Iohn's health insurance needs, may cost $293 per month instead of $51 per month. That premium cost would be more than one week's pay!
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller has filed a lawsuit claiming that Hoosiers are ineligible to benefit from the tax credit subsidy offered through the Affordable Care Act to purchase health insurance through the federally operated Marketplace Exchange.
Zoeller's contention, according to published news reports, is since Indiana chose not to expand Medicaid nor to set up its own exchange, opting for Health and Human Services to maintain the exchange, the ACA bars the state's citizens from the tax credit subsidy.
Supposedly the decision of the state not to participate in implementing the ACA exchange was done to protect employers in the state from being bound by the requirement that businesses with 50 or more employees working at least 30 hours per week offer health insurance or be subject to a fine.
Zoeller along with 15 school corporations across the Cornfield are arguing that the wording of one section of the ACA implies that that the tax credit subsidy applies only to state-run exchanges and not the federal exchange. Thus Hoosier business owners cannot be subject to the fine for not offering health insurance since there is no state exchange.
Along with Indiana, Oklahoma and six other states have filed similar lawsuits.
Zoeller noted that schools and colleges in the state have had to cut back hours of employees to keep from being threatened with the hefty fine in the ACA on employers of 50 or more employees working 30 hours or more per week.
My partner Iohn's company, which operates over 200 restaurants nationwide, has already cut its employees' hours to 29 maximum per week. The company via letter last week notified employees it would not offer health benefits as of January 1, 2014.
While it does seem the AG may have a case, it also appears that the State is more interested in protecting employers than workers in this lawsuit.
While Iohn and I disagree with the ACA as written, as our liberal and Democratic friends keep stressing, "it's the law of the land". We are following the law and Iohn is shopping and will likely sign up for coverage effective January 1. That doesn't mean we agree with the law as written, but we also do not believe in being scofflaws.
Businesses were granted a one-year delay by President Barack Obama in implementing its part of the ACA. The individual mandate requiring all Americans purchase insurance is still on schedule for an effective date of January 1.
This is one cog that is clogging up the works currently in Congress which has led to the partial shutdown of government and difficulty in agreeing on raising the nation's debt ceiling.
Sadly for Hoosiers, if the lawsuit is successful, the cost of premiums will keep health insurance out of reach of low-income workers. At Iohn's current number of hours and rate of pay, the unsubsidized premium will equate to about 1 1/2 weeks of work to pay the premium.
From the Cornfield, this appears to be yet another unforseen consequence of voting for a bill and signing it into law before anyone read it.