IRS Weighs In

The IRS Publication 954- Premium Tax Credit — is finally available.  Information about calculating the self employment health insurance deduction, including worksheets, can be found on pages 21-37.  This includes detailed instructions for complex situations, so it is worthwhile to read.   The worksheets can also be used to double check results from tax software.

I will be taking some time to review this document and plan to summarize important points in forthcoming posts.


Applying on Paper

OK, so it’s pretty obvious that the web site enrollment thing isn’t working for a lot of people. 

As I’ve posted before, I think the most rational thing to do is to wait a couple of weeks while they iron out all the glitches.   But at least in California, it’s also quite possible to apply on paper.  Here’s a link:

Covered California Paper Application Form

Actually, even if you plan to apply online, I’d strongly encourage Californians to review this application brochure first — you’ll find that it answers a lot of your questions, and reviewing the form will help you to be ready with the information that you will need for an online application.

Tech Tip for

Tech tip:

Did you run into trouble trying to create a user account at last week?

It might be a good idea to clear your browser cookies before you try to log on again this week.

(This tip was passed onto me by a good friend, but I have no way to test whether it is necessary for everyone. But it’s always a good thing to try if you are having problems associated with logging into a site). 


The name of the law that changed the rules for health insurance in the US is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

It is not and never has been officially called “Obamacare”.

But I named this blog Obamacareguide because that is the name that more people are familiar with.

When I used that name in this blog it is not meant to convey any opinion, positive or negative, about the law.

I personally support the President and I am in favor of a national system that guarantees that every American has access to affordable health care. But Barack Obama did not write the law; Congress did.

There are good parts and there are messy parts.  The mess is a function of a rather dysfunctional approach to legislation in the US, where partisan politics often dominates over common sense.  I’d like to see Congress keep all the good bits and clean up the messy parts, but I don’t think that’s possible in today’s political climate. So I think that we are just going to have to live with the mess for awhile.