[Editor’s note: With significant portions of the Affordable Care Act to be implemented starting on Jan. 1, 2014, the Kokomo Tribune will run a series that explores how the personal responsibility mandate, the expansion of Medicaid and the new health exchanges will affect consumers.]
Q: If I retire Feb. 1, 2014, how will I be able to show that my income has been reduced from my salary of 2013? When I enroll for coverage to begin March 1, 2014, how will I document my retirement income for 2014, which will be less than my salary in 2013? Will I have to show statements from my pensions and Social Security?
A: The Affordable Care Act doesn’t require an individual to prove their income has decreased when purchasing health insurance through the Marketplace exchanges.
Jennifer Lyons, a financial planner with Bucheri McCarty & Metz said if a person has a decrease in income in the current year that would allow them to qualify for a premium assistance credit or cost-sharing-reduction subsidy, they can submit current year earnings when completing the application.
“The Marketplace may ask for additional documentation for the claim of reduced income, including pay stubs, unemployment benefits and pension plan substantiation,” she said.
Kathy Young, CEO of St. Joseph Hospital, said if a person retires before the age of 65, they may use the Marketplace to buy a plan that meets their needs.
Open enrollment for the Marketplace began Tuesday and runs through March 31, 2014.
“If you retire on Feb. 1, 2014, you’ll have time to purchase insurance before the open enrollment period ends,” Young said. “Depending on your income and family size, you may qualify to get lower costs on your monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs.”
When applying for lower costs in the Marketplace, a person needs to provide household income now and an estimate for 2014, Young said.