Families still excluded from health law's 'affordability' standard

The healthcare law provides subsidies to people who don't have access to an "affordable" plan through their employer. And it defines "affordable" as a plan that costs less than 9.5 percent of household income.

Here's the catch: The 9.5 percent standard applies to individual policies — even for employees who are trying to cover a whole family. So someone who could buy an "affordable" policy for themselves isn't eligible for subsidies — even if a family plan costs far more than 9.5 percent of the family's income.

The glitch keeps the cost of the healthcare law down (without it, more families would get government subsidies), but it means the law offers little relief to families struggling with the cost of healthcare.