Edmonds Military Wire: Language in Affordable Care Act could cost veterans

Michael Schindler
Michael Schindler

The recent requirement for all Americans to have healthcare has caused joy for some and heartache for others. John Vogel, a recruiting consultant for HireVeterans.com and a columnist for Veterans Today.com, recently reported that “A ‘glitch’ in the Affordable Care Act [ACA] could cost some families thousands of dollars, especially veterans with children.”

Under the law, health care plan costs should not exceed 9.5 percent of an employee’s household income. The apparent “glitch” surfaces when an employer does not extend health care benefits to an employee’s family. Under the ACA, these families will not be able to receive health care through state subsidized programs and these families will be required to “pay extra” – and for some this will exceed the 9.5 percent threshold.

Lawmakers are aware of the issue but there is no “fix” yet.

Veterans who are receiving health care benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs need not worry. Your benefits will continue as-is. However, if you don’t have coverage for your underage children, you will need to start shopping.
What you may want to know as a Veteran:
• Veterans currently receiving health care benefits through the VA – including the Veteran’s health care program, Civilian Health and Medical Program and Spina Bifida Health Care Program – already meet the health care coverage requirements under the ACA
• The VA health care benefits and coverage do not change under the ACA
• Veterans receiving health care benefits from the VA may also supplement with other private insurance

Bottom line: Washington State was one of several states that appointed its own health care exchange commission and developed its own website. The website, www.WAhealthplanfinder.org, is user-friendly and does allow you to view plans without logging in. One thing to note, you must “personalize” the information if you want to get accurate costs. And…if there are delays, just know that our state site still has to communicate with Healthcare.gov.

– By Michael Schindler

Michael Schindler, Navy veteran, and president of Edmonds-based Operation Military Family, is a guest writer for several national publications, author of the book “Operation Military Family” and “The Military Wire” blog. He is also a popular keynote and workshop speaker who reaches thousands of service members and their families every year through workshops and seminars that include “How to Battle-Ready Your Relationship” or “What Your Mother-in-Law Didn’t Tell You.” He received the 2010 Outstanding Patriotic Service Award from the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs.

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