|By Carol M. Ostrom, The Seattle Times|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
It was the fine print.
As fine print is wont to do, it had buried itself in a long form -- Balhorn's application for free health insurance through the expanded state
She was shocked: If you're 55 or over,
The way Prins saw it, that meant health insurance via
With an estimated 223,000 adults seeking health insurance headed toward
The federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) changed that. Now many more low-income residents will qualify for
But if they qualify for
Prins, an artist, and Balhorn, a retired fisherman-turned-tango instructor, separately qualified for health insurance through
But if they were married, they calculated, they could "just squeak by" with enough income to qualify for a subsidized health plan -- and avoid any encumbrance on the home they hope to leave to Prins' two sons.
"We're happy to be getting married," Prins said last week. "Unfortunately not everyone has such an elegant solution to the problem."
Over the past month, as lawmakers began hearing from worried and angry constituents, state officials began exploring what it would take to fix this collision of state rules with the ACA.
Late Friday, Gov.
They hope to be able to change the rules before coverage begins
Fixing the problem will cost the state about
"There was no intent on the part of the ACA to do estate recovery on people going into
People in their 50s and 60s make up about 30 percent of the adults who have signed up for health insurance through
Some 55- to 64-year-olds, who may have taken early retirement or who were laid off during the recession, have found themselves plunged into a low-income bracket. Unlike