Figuring Out My ACA Health Insurance: HSAs, IRAs, Subsidies, and AGIs

So I had three financial goals for this month — first, I was going to set up YNAB, which is DONE; second, I was going to launch Frugal and the Beast, which is IN PROGRESS (and I can’t do anything else until I get the print proof later today); third, I was going to figure out next year’s ACA health insurance and decide whether I should put some money into a SEP IRA to ensure I keep the subsidy I claimed for 2018.

The first step in this process is to tally up how much I’ve contributed to my 2018 HSA and IRA so far, and how much I have left to contribute before I hit the maximums. Here we go:

HSA contributions: $2,624.06
HSA left to contribute (to hit $3,450 max): $825.94

IRA contributions: $2,632.52
IRA left to contribute (to hit $5,500 max): $2,867.48

Fully funding my 2018 HSA and IRA are my top priorities, because I already told I was going to do that when I estimated my modified AGI during last year’s Open Enrollment. In other words: if I don’t fully fund my HSA/IRA, I might owe the ACA more money.

I dropped my “left to contribute” amounts into YNAB, and saw my financial runway shorten by about a month and a half. Which, fine, I knew something like that would happen, and funding my HSA/IRA is more important than telling myself I could go X days without any new income.

But putting another $3K or whatever into a SEP IRA would eliminate the runway altogether and put me on a paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle unless I either:

  • Adjusted my YNAB so I wasn’t setting aside money for vacations, home comforts, business travel, etc. every month (which, according to this budgeting system, would mean not going on vacation or doing any of that other stuff)
  • Pulled cash out of my brokerage account and put it into my YNAB runway

I know I have time between now and TAX DAY to figure out exactly how much of my health insurance subsidy I might need to pay back and exactly how much I should put in a SEP IRA to prevent that from happening, and if it comes down to it I’d rather pay $3K to my future self than to the government (they’ll take their chunk of tax out of that money when I retire, anyway).

But I don’t have that much time before I have to figure out my 2019 modified AGI and use that to calculate any health insurance subsidy I might receive in 2019.

Which means the next step in this process is to visit and start playing with numbers.

I’ll report back.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash.

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