A 60-year-old individual with an income of $50,000 will pay at least one-fifth of what those earnings on premiums for the least-expensive ACA plans across a broad swath of the Midwest. (Image: KFF)

Those who seek health coverage under the Affordable Care Act don’t expect to have to fork over a sixth—or even a fifth—of their annual incomes for a policy on the exchanges. After all, the name of the law is the Affordable Care Act.

But that’s exactly what older middle-class Americans are struggling with, according to a Washington Post report. And the problem is worse in rural areas, says a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis that finds that the rural middle class is being hit particularly hard. According to its analysis, those with incomes above 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Line ($48,560 for an individual and $100,400 for a family of four in 2019) are not eligible for subsidies and are struggling to afford their ACA plans.

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Marlene Satter

Marlene Y. Satter has worked in and written about the financial industry for decades.

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