Obamacare 'Family Glitch' Could Mean 500,000 More Kids Without Health Care

Whoops. It looks like there’s a loophole in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that could potentially leave half a million kids without health care coverage. Dang it, if only they’d read it before they passed it ...

Anyway. The thing passed, the Supreme Court didn't strike it down, and as valiant as Ted Cruz's spectacular 21-hour filibuster in the Senate was yesterday and into today, that’s not going to stop Obamacare either. So we live with it until enough people get fed up with it and demand that it be defunded.

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Now there’s another thing to add to the growing list of reasons why Obamacare is quickly becoming one of the most unpopular policies in the history of our country (I’d say the most unpopular, but that’s probably hyperbolic and also I hear prohibition sucked). There’s a so-called “family glitch” that “threatens to cost some families thousands of dollars in health insurance costs and leave up to 500,000 children without coverage.”

Like I said -- whoops.

Congress defined "affordable" as 9.5% or less of an employee's household income, mostly to make sure people did not leave their workplace plans for subsidized coverage through the exchanges. But the "error" was that it only applies to the employee -- and not his or her family. So, if an employer offers a woman affordable insurance, but doesn't provide it for her family, they cannot get subsidized help through the state health exchanges.

And let’s not blame the companies for dropping family coverage -- they’re mostly just trying to stay in business. Having a job is better than not having a job, even if it doesn’t come with health insurance for the rest of your family.

Congress can fix this “drafting error,” but given that they’ve known about it for two-and-a-half years and we’re now only days away from the beginning of implementation, I’m not holding my breath.

Are you worried about what’s going to happen to your health care plan under Obamacare?


Image via hubertk/Flickr

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