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Affordable Care Act May Not Cover Some Families

September 3, 2012
Plain English Version

President Obama signing the Affordable Care Act in the White House.

There is a problem in the Affordable Care Act for some working families.

The Affordable Care Act says starting in 2014 most American families must have health insurance. The government will help some families pay for the insurance.

Many workers get health insurance through their employers. They often pay part of the premium. The new law says if the amount of the premium is below 9.5 percent of the worker’s household income workers will not get assistance from the government.

The problem is in the 9.5 percent limit. It is based on the cost of insuring one person.  The cost of insuring a family is usually much higher.

For example, a family with an income of $35,000 must pay up-to $3,325 (9.5%) of health insurance premium costs. That will easily pay for one person.  One study said the annual premium for one average worker is $920.

However, the cost for a family is much higher. The average cost for the worker’s share of family coverage is $4,130 a year. The worker may not be able to afford it. And the family will not be eligible for assistance.

Advocates and some congressmen say government payments should cover a spouse and children. They said the law was meant to cover lower and middle income families.

The federal government will soon issue its final rules on family coverage.

In another statement the Obama administration said that undocumented youngsters eligible to study in the United States were not eligible for care under the Affordable Care Act.

The New York Times

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