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Gross, but adjusted

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Sooner or later, one can always find an uplifting story of achievement and accomplishment — even in the strange new world of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

See also: PPACA is always right

Jacques is a thinking man.

When he studied PPACA, he concluded that his $58,000-plus salary put him (a single guy) way over the 400 percent  of federal poverty level premium tax credit limit.

However, when he began evaluating insurance alternatives, he began to wonder.

First, he learned that if he chose a plan that was eligible for a health savings account, he could subtract his HSA contribution from his income.

That reminded him that an IRA worked the same way, and that, if he maxed out his 401(k) contribution, he could subtract even more.

Using his 2013 tax return as a base, he totaled his adjustments: for the 401(k), subtract 4,676; for the HSA, subtract $3,500; for the IRA, subtract $6,500.

The resulting modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) was nearly $3,000 below the FPL max, and Jacques (to put it in his own words) got the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to contribute $4,600 towards the cost of his health insurance.

See also: The marriage penalty and If you like your health insurance plan…


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