More Victims of Obamacare

Published December 4, 2014

It’s hard to keep track of all the you-passed-it-so-we-could-see-what’s-in-it-and-now-we-see-it-sucks moments that Americans have had since Obamacare passed, but here’s another one to add to the list, courtesy of Kaiser Health News:

Obamacare ‘Glitch’ Puts Subsidies Out Of Reach For Many Families

The Affordable Care Act is expected to provide around $10 billion in subsidies this year to make health insurance affordable for low- and middle-income people. But a quirk in the law is denying subsidies to a significant number of low-income people, especially those with families.

Benfield has run up against this quirk. To cover only himself, Benfield would have to pay a little more than $2,200 a year. He says he can’t afford that, but that’s an affordable amount, according to Obamacare regulations, and that means Benfield could not get subsidies if he tried to get coverage on the Obamacare exchange.

The situation only gets worse if Benfield decided to add his wife to his employer policy. Adding her would nearly triple the annual cost, driving it up to $6,200 a year, almost a quarter of their family income.

Benfield’s situation illustrates a flaw in the Affordable Care Act, says Linda Blumberg, a health policy expert at the Urban Institute.

“A lot of people refer to this as the family affordability glitch,” Blumberg says. “All of the assessment of whether or not employer-based coverage is affordable is based on worker-only coverage, and doesn’t take the cost of family coverage into account.”

That’s remarkable, says Blumberg, since most people want to buy family coverage, not simply coverage for the family breadwinner.

Ah yes, “glitch.” Apparently that’s the new word for government-caused disaster.