Friday, January 10, 2014

Rizzo's Ramblings.....Public Service Announcement

The other day I posted a public service announcement concerning the ACA and the tax penalty one could incur for being without insurance for more than 3 months. I posted the information to try to quell confusion about when the penalty would go into effect. People (like myself) who will have to pay the penalty, either by choice or by circumstance, need to be clear so some unscrupulous tax preparer doesn't get it wrong. The penalty will go into effect next tax season, if you do not have insurance for more than 3 months during the year of 2014.
My husband and I will be paying the penalty. Our incomes combined are less than $25,000. When I first visited the government website there was only a questionnaire because it was before the marketplace went live. According to the questionnaire, my husband and I should have qualified for Medicaid. The questionnaire had a list of states that had decided to expand their Medicaid programs to include some people who may not have been eligible before. My state was not one of them, so Medicaid was out of the question.
*Note: In the state of Virginia, a single parent of a child who is eligible for Medicaid is also eligible. My husband and I cannot get Medicaid because we are married.
The questionnaire also mentioned that a person who qualifies for Medicaid may not be eligible for subsidies. So, for a long time I was afraid I would be too poor to be able to get a subsidy so I would have to pay a fine. Which is dumb. The reality is that people are facing that scenario. Instead, after they fixed the website, I found out that I do qualify for a subsidy. About $600 a month. The site explained that I would receive that money as a tax credit at the end of the year. It would off set any thing I owed (tax wise), and then I would receive the balance. It also explained that I could use part (or all) of that towards my insurance premium. The site advised that I not use the whole amount because I might have to pay part of it back at the end of the year. The way they figure the subsidy is based on the financial information you supply. You are giving them an estimate of what you think you will make. If you make more than you estimate, you will qualify for a smaller subsidy, which will result in you owing the IRS.
After I read all of that, I went and browsed insurance policies. Here is what I found. If I used the whole $600 a month subsidy, then I could get a bare bones policy that would only cost me about $30 a month. The policy had a $12,000 deductible! I would be paying for an insurance policy that would do me no good. If I had $12,000 to spend on doctor bills I would not need insurance! Oh! And let me not forget that after I met the $12,000 deductible, the insurance only paid sixty percent! I could get a decent policy with only a $400 deductible, but it would take the whole subsidy plus $250 a month. I don't have that, either.
So, we will be paying the penalty. Not because we want to, but because it is the only thing that is financially feasible. I can't wait to go to the doctor and tell them I don't have any insurance. If I thought it was bad before... People are really going to be jerks now. 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Rizzo's Ramblings... It's been a while

Christmas is over. The new year has begun. People are getting depressed. It's a seasonal thing, I know. I'm pretty sure mine is a life thing. I'm not engulfed in sadness. I can function normally around other people. I just can't be by myself. That's when I think. I feel like my life is going nowhere fast. I feel like I do the same thing day in and day out and it's all for nothing. I work my ass off to stay broke and be behind on my bills. If I buy groceries then I can't pay a bill. I have to buy groceries because I have two teenagers at home, one of which has to eat halfway decent food because of her health. My job sucks. I get paid minimum wage (kind of) to clean up after other people who have no thought about the messes they leave behind. I work 6 days a week to bring home about $150. I am smarter than this. I could have went to college. I could be making good money. I feel like my life is worthless. I don't have any friends to talk to. I'm so fucking socially awkward that it's hard for me to talk to people in real life. Everyone thinks I'm strange. If I do work up the nerve to open my mouth I almost never say the right thing. I don't mind being honest about myself and that turns people off. They want to talk to someone who is nice, perfect, well off, whateverthefuck. I'm just me. I've never been "popular" and I thought when I got out of school that wouldn't matter, but life is no different than high school with its cliques. I have made some "friends" on Facebook, but they don't know me. I'm sure they think I'm strange just like everyone else does. Most of the time I don't mind having one sided relationships, at least I can pretend I have friends. Sometimes, though, when I'm all alone and trying to figure out why the fuck I'm even on the planet - it would be nice to have someone to talk to. It's scary in my head. I'm pretty mean to me. It's a good thing my kids aren't grown because I'm not sure I would still be here. A lot of times things seem so surreal that I question whether I AM here. I would love to talk to a psychiatrist, but I'm scared they would figure out I'm crazy. I have literally had a full blown panic attack because I had an identity crisis and thought that maybe I was just living my dead sister's life. All I was doing at the time was peeling potatoes. And thinking. Thinking is dangerous. Having too much time is dangerous. I need a new life.