Matthew Lazenka has been there and done that:
I chose the cheapest plan available on the Virginia federal marketplace, which was still twice as expensive as my previous insurance with comparable benefits. My previous ACA plan was cheap because I am young and healthy and so is my family. Now, being young and healthy is a bad thing. It’s like having a credit score of 800 being a bad thing, even after you worked so hard to get it. My bronze plan cost $580 per month, which is actually less than the subsidy offered to me. One thing that may have thrown off the subsidy calculation, and which I will have to pay back, is that I purchased this plan differently than the law allows. The way the law was written, my children were supposed to be put onto Medicaid through the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP. But it took the Medicaid office 120 days to determine if my children were eligible (it is supposed to take 45 days). So Kaine said I could purchase family health insurance through the federal marketplace if I did not receive a reply from the Department of Social Services by the March 31 deadline. I have no clue if that was lawful.
Remember when ♡bamaCare!!! was going to reduce waste and inefficiency and we all had a good laugh? And you know now how we read these things and cry into our bourbon?
Anyway, do read Lazenka’s full report. It’s as good — if that word applies here — as anything you’ll read on the subject of the law’s perverse incentives and paralyzing ambiguities.