Quit Your Job with the ACA?
The Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, has been affording many people the opportunity to quit their jobs. Before you start calling those people lazy, let’s learn why they’re quitting their jobs and see if it’s the right option for you.
The Bad Old Days
For many people, employee sponsored health insurance was the only kind of insurance they could get. Previously, insurance companies could either deny coverage or charge astronomical prices to people with pre-existing conditions; a vague factor that could refer to anything from acne to cancer. For many that had beaten or were currently living with a pre-existing condition, leaving their job could be a death sentence. Some people were working in pain, some people were staying at a job they hated, some were simply underemployed but many were just denied the chance to live their dream because they couldn’t afford to take the risk that they would lose insurance for themselves or someone they loved.
The Freedom of Choice
As of January 1, 2014, preexisting conditions are no longer a factor in insurance costs. This is allowing many people to quit their jobs and start their own business. In fact, some 2.5 million people are expected to quit their jobs in the next 10 years because they now have the option to buy affordable, dependable health insurance. This is also creating opportunity for people to get new jobs or move up at their current companies.
What Are People Doing?
Karen Willmus is quitting her job as a 9th grade teacher so she and her daughter can start a business publishing materials for non-native English speakers and others looking to improve their literacy. She expects to work even more than she does now and hire two or three people. Her $300/mo insurance payment is less than the premiums she was paying as a teacher.
Joshua Simonson was working at a grocery store. He was being denied by insurance companies because he had previously broken 3 vertebrae in his back. Now, the young entrepreneur runs a 26-acre farm where chickens till through the flower beds and goats graze on the lawn. He has 3,000 egg-laying hens, whose eggs he and his partner will sell in the Portland metropolitan area. Soon, they’ll add pigs and raise chickens for meat.
Is Quitting Your Job an Option for You?
Everyone’s situations are different. Freelancing is a great option whether you have a lot of experience or a little. Sites like elance.com and odesk.com are great resources, especially if you’re in a creative or marketing niche. If you love to travel, books like the 4 Hour Work Week might give you some good ideas.
How Much Are the Plans?
For a single 40 year old person living in Pennsylvania making $50k/yr, plans start around $170/mo and max out around $370/mo
For a 40 year old married couple in Pennsylvania, plans start around $300/mo and max out around $700/mo.
What are the Tax Benefits?
If you’re self-employed and not eligible for an employer-sponsored health plan through your spouse’s job, you may be able to write-off your health insurance premiums. You can’t write off more in health insurance premiums than you earned, though. If you paid your health insurance premiums with your own after-tax money, they’re deductible. See more…
But before you run into your boss’ office and yell “I QUIT!!!” consult a professional and make a plan. Although this enrollment period ends on March 31, 2014, you have 7 months before the next open enrollment to plan your escape from corporate America.