Live ACA calculator, see if you can break it


The graphic above is an organizing image a colleague and I worked out. Later we can hyperlink any of the three elements and use it to build up a database of articles. But the even cooler feature below: there should be a partially embedded ACA premium calculator. I say partially because, while you can enter data directly into it from this website, it will open a new window and render results at the home site. This took some developers a lot of work and as best I can tell, they did well. But I could use a few beta testers …

So if you would be so kind, go ahead and give it a whirl if you like, see if it works, see if you can break it. Tomorrow it’s gonna get quite a workout at the Great Orange Satan.


  1. eigenperson says

    Well, I couldn’t find any really bad bugs, but it does allow you to say that you have zero people in your family, or even a non-integral number of people. And this actually changes the results.

    You can also specify a number of adults and/or children to receive coverage that is larger than the number of people in your family, but I don’t know enough about the ACA to know if that’s actually a bug or not.

  2. lanir says

    Looks good to me. The only odd part is if you’re trying to check some different numbers you need to change the number of adults for question #4 to get it’s dropdown with age & tobacco use to show up again.

  3. says

    It seems the silver plan is about twice as expensive than the one I’ve long carried. Likely, that derives from greater benefits for things that often carry high price tag and get mostly or partly excluded from private insurance, such as prescription drugs below a deductible, and mental health treatment.

    That said, the subsidy kick in quite a bit, in years when your income is modest. Interesting.

  4. AndrewD says

    So, I have an income of 146% of the poverty level and would have to pay $639 a year to my health expenses. This is an improvement in health care? The only health care cost I have paid in the last 18 months is $375 for new glasses (and these could have been cheaper if I had not had High refractive index glass lenses). I have type 2 diabeties,I get free prescriptions, free foot care, and free retinal examinations (preventative care saves money)
    I also get the bulk of my income from the state as Pension income garantee credit and Housing Benifit but as you must have realised, I am not a US citizen but a west European, British actually.
    I worked for 40 years until i became unemployed, the state benifits mean I am retired and hence not on the unemployed list.
    I suggest a strong dose of socialism for the US.

  5. cgilder says

    It’s a huge improvement, unfortunately. We don’t qualify for subsidies because we get insurance through my husband’s employer, and our income is too high. David’s employer covers a little more than half of his health insuance premiums, and we pay almost $5k per year to insure the 5 of us ( healthy, no pre existing conditions, non smokers, etc). It’s a decent plan, with reasonable deductibles and low co-pays and such, but damn. $10k a year?

    I’d love to pay that in more taxes each year instead and get socialism up in here. Shouldn’t have to be white collar to go to the doctor when you’re sick.

  6. says

    Andrew if you’re over 65 you would be covered on Medicare in the US. If you’re not, then yes, that would be a vast improvement in this country. Outside of employee sponsored insurance, which would probably run you at least several hundred a month and might play games with preexisting conditions and impose lifetime caps on care, the premiums for a private policy pre-ACA would be tens of thousands a year and comparable insurance as far as zero copays and no caps, like what you have now, would probably not be available at any price.

  7. Trebuchet says

    It’s probably worth adding an “over 65” or “covered by medicare/medicaid” question, just to make it clear. Today is my first day of Medicare, BTW.

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