Health care law definition of ‘affordable’ vague

Researchers at Indiana and Cornell universities say that how the federal government defines "affordable" could leave millions of dependents of low and moderate income workers without reasonably priced insurance under the federal health care overhaul.

The findings come in a paper by economists at the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs and the Cornell University College of Human Ecology.

The law defines insurance as affordable if the employee's cost is less than 9.5 percent of his or her family income. Employees who pay more will be steered into state insurance exchanges.

But the law is vague whether it refers to the cost of individual coverage or family coverage. Researchers say how that question is answered could either steer millions of people to subsidized care or leave dependents uninsured.

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