When the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (AKA Obamacare) is fully enforced on individuals and families next year, a middle-aged, middle-class couple with three children could be hit with a $9,355 hike in their annual health-insurance premiums if their annual household income happens to increase by just $1.
Under ACA, all Americans are required to secure health insurance. Those who do not get it through their employer can buy it through government-run health-insurance exchanges, which the law requires to be set up in every state. People buying their Obamacare-mandated health coverage through these exchanges will be eligible for federal subsidies in the form of a refundable tax credit—as long as their adjusted gross household income is between 100 percent and 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).
People whose household income is too small to qualify for the subsidy will be put on Medicaid. People whose household income exceeds 400 percent of the FPL will get no subsidy at all.
According to the IRS, which responded to a CNSNews.com inquiry on the issue, a household earning an annual income that is just $1 more than 400 percent of the FPL is ineligible for an Obamacare subsidy, period.
As explained by both the IRS—which wrote the regulation governing the Obamacare subsidy–and the Congressional Research Service, which published a July 31 report on the matter (Health Insurance Premium Credits in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act), the Obamacare insurance-premium subsidy essentially works as a cap on the percentage of annual income an eligible person is required to pay in health-insurance premiums.
This percentage-of-income cap gradually increases as a household’s income increases from 100 percent of FPL to 400 percent.
For households with income between 100 percent and 133 percent of the poverty level, for example, insurance premiums are capped at 2 percent of household income. From there, the cap gradually rises until it tops out at 9.5 percent of income for households making between 300 percent and 400 percent of the poverty level.
For households with incomes over 400 percent of FPL—even just $1 over, according to the IRS—there is no cap on the percentage of their income they can be made to pay for their Obamacare-mandated health-insurance premiums.