It's not 'free', Mike. The law doesn't even live up to it's name as 'Affordable'. It's just a big government power grab. The only ones who are not subjected to it are the illegals, and those with religious objections to insurance, so I guess they will get any medical care for free without worrying about having to purchase insurance or paying a fine at tax time. Even those newly qualified for Medicaid will pay something since it's described as at 'vitually no cost'. I guess it remains to be seen if those currently on Medicaid will be hit with a federal tax.
Even those who qualify for a subsidy will have to pay the full amount upfront, probably on a monthly or quarterly basis, when they purchase the insurance and wait to be reimbursed at tax filing time.
For example, a single 26-year-old earning $16,000 might pay $537 toward the annual premium for a mid-level "silver" plan, according to estimates from the Kaiser Family Foundation. The rest of the premium would be covered by a $2,853 tax credit. (Deductibles and co-pays could cost up to an additional $2,083, depending on how much care the person needs.)
A 26-year-old earning $35,000 would pay $3,325 in premiums — $277 a month — for the same plan, after only a $66 tax credit. (And that patient might be on the hook for another $4,167 in out-of-pocket costs.)
I also wonder if this is based on gross income or adjusted gross income.
I suppose we are to take comfort from the fact that the 'penalty' (it's not a penalty according to SCOTUS...it's a TAX) can never exceed the cost of a bronze plan?
Private insurers have yet to set the prices for their 2014 plans, because coverage that will comply with the law is still being developed. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that premiums for the bare-bones plan, called "bronze" level, might average between $4,500 and $5,000 per year. Family plans might cost $12,500 per year.
But I'm sure glad (sarcasm) that all this will be covered at 'no charge':
The plans also will cover at no charge preventive care such as HIV tests, screening for depression or alcoholism, flu shots, hepatitis vaccine, contraception and pregnancy care.
I'd prefer to pay $20 myself for a flu shot once a year (the ONLY one of these 'preventive care' options that I would need) than to have it built into my plan at 'no charge' (sarcasm again).
Nothing is free. Unless you are an illegal alien.