on Kaiser Health News, Julie Rovner discusses the plight of a forgotten slice of the population who are the biggest losers from the ACA. These are people who buy insurance in the individual market but earn too much to qualify for premium subsidies.
And no, these are not all millionaire lawyers
in private practice and billionaire day-traders who work from laptops in
their beach-side condos. The upper income limit for ACA subsidies is
400 percent of the poverty line, which comes to just $64,000 for a
family of two. That hits ordinary working couples who would like to take
early retirement, people working part-time who have outside income, and
self-employed professionals. Even Uber drivers can make $64,000 a year
if they work hard enough.
Rovner’s post highlights the case of a
married couple from Raleigh, N.C., both in their late 50s, who work as
private consultants to the energy industry. When their premiums reached
$1,600 a month, with $7,500 deductible for each of them, they decided to
forego insurance altogether.
Rovner calculates that there are
about 7.5 million such people. That is less than 3 percent of the
population, but they constitute 43 percent of those who buy insurance in
the individual market.
These same 43 million who are the big
losers from the ACA would be among the big winners from Universal
Catastrophic Coverage. UCC, as I have explained elsewhere, has potential
appeal to both conservatives and liberals. As premiums rise ever higher for unsubsidized shoppers in the individual market, the constituency for UCC can only grow.
Reposted from NiskanenCenter.com