A Radical Move: Giving up Income to Get Health Insurance

Bob Staake

The New York Times
By Rachel Bluth, December 1, 2017

Anne Cornwall considered two drastic strategies in her quest to get affordable health insurance premiums last year for herself and her retired husband.

One was divorce. Another was taking a 30 percent pay cut. She chose the latter.

That maneuver slashed the premiums for the couple, who live in Chattanooga, Tenn., from exorbitant to economical. Instead of $2,00 a month - the amount she quoted for 2017 - their premiums are just $87 monthly, her lost income more than compensated for by qualifying for insurance subsidies.

Ms. Cornwell's solution - which was completely legal - reflects how a growing number of Americans are incorporating strategies for affording health insurance into financial planning, adapting money and salaries to yield better choices - much as people place money int 401(k) plans to save for retirement while reducing their taxable income.

Her solution and others like it may resonate with other Americans who are now buying 2018 health plans on the individual market, through the Affordable Care Act's online marketplaces or outside them. Double-digit premium price increases are forecast for many plans, a trend that has accelerated since President Trump announce that his administration would not pay some A.C.A. subsidies to insurers.

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Don’t make these common, costly Medicare mistakes

By Lorie Konish, February 15, 2018
for CNBC 

Dr. Katy quoted in this article.

  • As more individuals continue working past 65, they face critical decisions regarding what Medicare coverage best suits them.
  • Failure to correctly understand the rules can lead to costly mistakes that you might not immediately be able to undo.
  • Do your homework, carefully research the rules and consult experts before you make any decisions.

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Tax bill may change your client’s health-care costs

Pay attention to new rules for the "individual mandate" requirement and the medical expense deduction floor

Dec 29, 2017 @ 10:45 am

By Katy Votava for InvestmentNews

The newly signed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will affect how much your clients pay out of pocket on health care, in several ways. The effects will be both short term and medium term:

  • The "Individual Mandate" will be eliminated by Jan. 1, 2019.
  • There is a temporary reduction in the medical expense deduction floor, from 10% to 7.5% for 2017 and 2018.

The Individual Mandate is eliminated by Jan. 1, 2019. Regardless, the Individual Mandate requirement is in effect for 2017 and 2018. During that time, all taxpayers, other than those who are exempt from the health insurance requirement, must have minimum essential health insurance coverage.

Folks who do not maintain that type of coverage are obligated to pay the "shared responsibility payment," otherwise known as the penalty. The 2017 "shared responsibility payment" is 2.5% of yearly household income or $695 per uncovered person, whichever is higher.

That penalty is figured into the 2017 tax return. Healthcare.gov has more detailed penalty information. The Kaiser Foundation's online calculator is helpful to estimate "shared responsibility payment" amounts.  Read more