Here is a model example out of Oregon. David Kline writing tells the sorry story in The Wall Street Journal.
Despite official statements in recent days, the problems at the federal and state health insurance exchanges are far from merely “technical.” Based on my experience trying to navigate the utter confusion at the “Cover Oregon” health exchange over something as simple as determining one’s income and eligibility for tax credits, I wonder if they’ll ever get ObamaCare working.
And I’m someone who would love to sign up for one of the plans.
Consider, for example, that under the Affordable Care Act, income for self-employed people like myself is supposed to be determined by one’s estimated 2014 modified adjusted gross income, or MAGI. Under the law, this means your net business income (gross income minus ordinary business expenses, or Line 12 on IRS form 1040) minus any IRA contributions, the deductible portion of self-employment taxes, and the premiums you paid for health insurance.
But question No. 26 of the Cover Oregon health application asks you to state not your net income but your “gross income (before costs and deductions).” There is no place to enter ordinary business expenses—at least 30%-45% of gross income for most small businesses—to get to your net business income, which is the starting point for determining MAGI.
Am I supposed to ignore the reference to “gross income” and simply enter my net business income instead in answer to question No. 26?
Nobody at Cover Oregon knows.
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