Blinson, who owns a car lot and car repair shop, has watched the couple's health insurance bill balloon from the
"These numbers are crazy -- they're more than a house payment," Blinson said. "I've got to be paying for insurance for four or five other people. And I ain't got a thank-you letter from any of them."
The way the federal health care law was written, most people are shielded from the ACA's annual price increases because federal subsidies generally keep up with rising premiums. In
But it's not just a small minority that doesn't qualify for subsidies and has to pay full freight. The actual number could be closer to half of all individual insurance users, state and national insurance statistics show.
About 20.5 million Americans had individual health insurance in the first quarter of 2016, but only about 11.1 million were covered through the ACA marketplace. Within the marketplace, about 85 percent qualified for subsidies nationwide, said
"The unsubsidized customer is directly confronting the high cost of health care," Hempstead, said. "They're staring at the belly of the beast."
But according to the
Some of these people didn't purchase their insurance through the exchange because they made too much money to qualify for subsidies, and since there's no financial benefit from using the exchange, they bypassed the government's application process.
The Blinsons are in that group. They are among the 52,718
Then there's 63,700
2 ways to get coverage
Of course the ACA may not survive in any recognizable form after president-elect
For the Blinsons, 2017 will be the jumping-off point.
Others whose incomes put them out of subsidy range are assessing strategies for 2017. ACA subsidies are available to people whose household incomes are between 100 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level.
"I fall over a cliff with an extra dollar of annual income," Wilsey said. "It's really ironic for me that the best way for me to deal with these rising prices is to make less."
Wilsey said he will try to keep his household income under the ceiling by by working less. As as result, Wilsey's 2017 health insurance cost -- monthly premiums and annual deductible for a family of four -- will drop from about
"I'm trying to manage this the best way I can," he said.
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