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ObamaCare Clusterfuck: If you file your 1040 unemployed, and then get a job so your income goes up, you'll get hit with a tax bill

Fucked up incentive structure, or what? Southern California Public Radio:

The government will use your federal income tax return as its first yardstick for how much of a tax break it contributes to your health coverage. And if you don’t have government-mandated health insurance a year from now, a penalty will be added to your federal tax obligations. ....

If your income goes up substantially during the year, for example, you could have to give back all — or some — of the tax break.

Oscar Hidalgo, spokesman for Covered California, the state’s recently created health reform insurance exchange, said staff are shaping plans to work with enrollees “to report changes in income that may change the amount of their subsidy. ....

Even if enrollees promptly report changes to the insurance exchange, though, they could still receive an unexpected tax bill, said Levitt. (Story continues below graphic.)

For example, if an exchange enrollee was unemployed during the beginning of 2014, she would receive a substantial subsidy for insurance. If she then got a job with health insurance that pays about $46,000 a year, there would be no way for the government to recover the subsidy until taxes were filed.

Such an enrollee wouldn’t literally get a bill in the mail, but the IRS would then reconcile that benefit on her next tax return, creating a tax liability.

Currently, the reduced tax credit amounts that people could have to give back are capped according to a sliding scale. They range from $300 for a person making about $23,000, to $1,250 for someone making about $45,000. However, there is legislation pending that seeks to remove the caps entirely.


As I keep saying, this is all stupid.

It all comes down to the need to throw people into buckets by income. And the only reason to do that is to preserve the health insurance industry. With single payer, all that madness goes away, and the country would save at least $400 billion a year (more if you figure by GNP percentage) and many thousands of lives.

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