The Affordable Care Act offers subsidies to low income families unable to afford insurance on their own. Subsidies are distributed according to one’s income level. However, if the income of an individual changes throughout the year, the amount of the subsidy offered changes as well. This variance in income due to life changes that most often cannot be avoided, means that some Americans may go without coverage during a particular time period. An individual may earn too much money to be eligible for Medical but not enough to be enrolled in the exchange. Employees most at risk for these hardships include hourly, seasonal, and young employees who lack coverage from their parents and experience frequent job fluctuation.
This gap in coverage will leave people transitioning between Medical and the exchanges without health insurance. It could also increase health care costs because people without coverage will either avoid hospitals or visit publicly subsidized emergency rooms. Also, if these people decide not to opt in to receive health coverage altogether, premiums will increase for the majority of individuals enrolling in coverage.
Check out this article from the LA Times titles “Some Could Have Gaps In Medical Coverage Under New Law” discussing this potential future problem for health care.