SEATTLE (AP) — The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) will be a huge boost to the working poor but could make life more expensive for Aaron Brethorst and others like him.
The Seattle software developer and consultant doesn’t have a problem with that because he figures he’ll be able to afford quality insurance. He says his annual income is in the low six-figures, and he expects to receive better coverage once PPACA kicks in.
The 31-year-old says the ability to buy his own health insurance, because he is relatively young and healthy, has given him the creative freedom to start his own companies and explore new ideas.
He spends a little more than $300 a month on catastrophic coverage with a high deductible. He recently got an email from his health insurance company informing him that the plan he bought on the individual market is going to be cancelled.
Brethorst said he does not know whether he will buy his next policy from the same company — a local version of Blue Cross — or through the state insurance exchange, the Washington HealthPlan finder. He does expect to add a better dental and vision plan in the new year, however.
“I’m not worried about it, quite frankly,” Brethorst said. “My income today is more than enough to pay for health insurance.”
That outlook is not likely to be universal among those who are self-employed.
The income threshold for a government subsidy offered on the state exchanges varies based on a number of factors, but generally tops out at $46,000 a year for an individual.
Depending on their health, age, family circumstances and income, the cost of insurance could become a burden for those who make too much money for government subsidies but not enough to be considered well-off.