The Website Glitch, IRS Glitch, Smoker Glitch, and more.
ObamaCare “Glitch”; a “glitch” in the ObamaCare website, the health insurance marketplace or healthcare.gov, follows other notable ObamaCare glitches. Other glitches have included the IRS glitch and the smoker glitch. Let’s take a look at how some of ObamaCare’s glitches affect you.
Listen to the President discuss ways to enroll in the Health Insurance Marketplace, give an update on the website, and discuss what the Affordable Care Act has done to benefit Americans so far:
UPDATE: as of December 20th, 2014 the health insurance marketplaces have been running smoothly and over 1 million have signed up through healthcare.gov alone.
The Obamacare Website Glitch
The official healthcare.gov website got off to a rocky start with many users reporting technical issues with the website. Luckily only residents of State’s that didn’t set up their own exchanges are affected and even those who will use the official site not only have plenty of time to sign up, they have other options for signing up for the marketplace. Here are some things you should know:
• Both Social Security and Medicare got off to rough starts that included technical problems and strong opposition.
• ObamaCare is more than just a website. Although the official healthcare.gov marketplace (for State’s that didn’t set up their own marketplaces) has been “glitchy”, it by no means affects the countless benefits, rights, and protections contained in the ACA. Aside from the glitches listed on this page almost every other provision of the thousand plus page law has gone off without a hitch over the past 3 years and has already helped to reform the U.S. healthcare system.
• Open enrollment goes until March 31st, 2014. The IRS rules state that you are allowed a 3 month coverage gap in 2014, so signing up for insurance anytime before April 1st, 2014 means you’ll avoid the individual mandate. If you want coverage that starts by January 1st, 2014 you have until December 17th to sign up.
• Many customers are still able to use the website and have reported getting lower rates and better quality insurance through the healthcare.gov site. This includes many who were previously unable to get affordable health insurance due to preexisting conditions and those who were priced out due to income.
• Don’t just take someone’s word that the healthcare website isn’t working, try and sign up for yourself. If you do have trouble with the website the marketplace help line is available for 24/7 assistance (800) 318-2596. You can also sign up for the marketplace by mailing in an online application (read these instructions first).
A Win For Opponents of the Law
After the Republican House shutdown the Government for nearly half a month costing the taxpayers $24 billion it was looking up for the Affordable Care Act which came out of the scuff nearly unphased. However, opponents are now using the glitch as ammunition to prove that the law isn’t working. It’s important for everyone to remember that Obamacare isn’t a website, it’s a law.
The IRS Glitch: Affordable Insurance is 9.5% of Employee’s Family Wages
A “family affordability glitch” in ObamaCare may leave thousands uninsured. Families may start finding themselves out priced from employer-sponsored health care plans. These plans, with premiums on the rise, may mean costs are passed along to workers at a higher rate than expected. These families were supposed to be able to get financial assistance but may find themselves paying a penalty instead.
The new law states that if an employee’s share of the premium costs for employee-only coverage (not the entire family) is more than 9.5% of their yearly household income, the coverage is not considered affordable. In most cases the employer will look at the employee’s yearly income and make sure they don’t offer unaffordable insurance and face a fee. Still in families the rule for affordability applies to the employee only, the assumption is that if the employee’s coverage is affordable that the families will be too. However, that has not been the case in practice in many instances. Learn more about the family affordability glitch.
ObamaCare Doesn’t Address Assistance for Employees
ObamaCare was supposed to offer financial support to employees who couldn’t afford moderately priced employer-based insurance. However, due to wording left out of the bill by congress, missed by the white house and a failure on the IRS to rectify the issue, these individuals and their families aren’t eligible for assistance. Even worse thousands of employees and their families may find themselves not only without health insurance, but also being faced with the penalty for not having it. (those who choose not to purchase insurance must pay an income tax “penalty)
ObamaCare Glitch: No Up-front Assistance
Employees were supposed to receive tax credits and up-front assistance if they couldn’t afford work-based plans. However congress didn’t include text in the law to support this and the IRS has yet to fix the issue on their end. The white house is blaming Congress, but pointing fingers isn’t fixing the issue. In a bill of this size it’s expected that there would be issues, but there is no excuse for making insurance less affordable for Americans.
Until the glitch is solved hundreds of thousands of men women and children could find themselves paying a penalty for being uninsured by 2014.
ObamaCare Smoker Glitch
Health insurance companies were supposed to be able to charge more due to smoking status starting in 2014. A glitch in the computer systems has made these calculations impossible in some state’s and thus the smoking surcharge won’t kick in until 2015. Learn more about ObamaCare and smokers.
ObamaCare and Glitches Summary
Although a few aspects of the new healthcare law have gotten off to a bumpy start the law as a whole has been working as expected. It makes sense that a complex piece of legislation would have a few glitches here and there. It remains to be seen on how quickly these issues can be addressed and what sort of impact it will make on peoples views of the law as a whole.