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A 'family glitch' emerges as more people explore health plans to comply with the health reform law


An estimated 3.9 Americans could find themselves in a health insurance bind that's become known as the 'family glitch,' Kaiser Health News reports. A Brookhaven, PA woman illustrates the potential problem if you and your children are on a family plan offered through your spouse's employer. 

As Susan Rubinstein told the Philadelphia Inquirer, the cost of her husbands employer-sponsored coverage for their family of four went up to $17,500 for 2014, or almost $1,500 a month, more than the cost of their mortgage. So the couple looked for an alternative on their state's healthcare exchange. But at ages  54 and 58, the premiums for the cheapest silver HMO family plan cost almost as much -- $1,338 a month, or about $16,000 a year.

One reason is that the couple doesn't qualify for a subsidy. The other reason is that all plans cost more the older you are. Although the ACA reduces the rates older people can be charged, their rates are still much higher than others'. 

Under the health law, you shouldn't have to pay more than 9.5 percent of your household income for healthcare. If you can't find coverage within that limit, you can get an exemption, but there's currently no other fix.

For Rubinstein, going without health insurance isn't an option, so her family will have no choice except to pay more. Read more. 




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