Guest Post: The Next Obamacare Crisis

Wednesday, January 15, 2014
By Paul Martin

by Alyene Senger

After a botched rollout that was universally panned, it may seem like things are finally moving more smoothly for Obamacare. But 2014 and beyond promise more turbulence for consumers, with premium tax credits likely to be another crisis.

On January 1, Obamacare’s subsidized exchange coverage began. The Congressional Budget Office projects that exchange subsidies, both the premium tax credits and cost-sharing subsidies, will cost more than $1 trillion over 10 years, with up to 19 million people receiving federal subsidies to offset the cost of their exchange coverage in 2023.

Those who earn anywhere between 100 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level ($11,490 to $45,960 for individuals and $23,550 to $94,200 for a family of four in 2013) and are not offered affordable and adequate coverage elsewhere will be eligible for Obamacare’s premium subsidies. These subsidies are applied on a sliding scale, with Americans in the lowest income level receiving the highest premium subsidy.

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