Affordable Care Act
This information has been updated as of May 30, 2018.
If you’re a low- or middle-income individual or family, you may be eligible to save money thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) subsidies (also referred to as “Obamacare” subsidies or advanced premium tax credits). These government subsidies are designed to help you pay for health insurance coverage.
The Affordable Care Act (the law commonly referred to as the ACA or Obamacare) made subsidies available to help qualifying American pay for their health insurance premiums. These subsidies work on a sliding scale, limiting what you are personally required to contribute toward your premiums to a fixed percentage of your annual income. In most cases, subsidies are available to those earning 400 percent, or lower, of the federal poverty level. If your income is below the federal poverty level, you generally do not qualify for ACA subsidies but may qualify for Medicaid.
The dollar value of your subsidies will depend in part on the cost of the benchmark Obamacare plan in your area. If the benchmark plan costs more than a certain percentage of your estimated annual income, you can get a subsidy for the amount of the difference. You may then use that subsidy when you buy a qualified Obamacare health insurance plan.
In order to calculate your Obamacare subsidy amount, the following variables are considered:
In order to quality for Obamacare subsidies, you must meet certain criteria including:
For 2018 the federal poverty guidelines are as follows:
|Household size||Poverty level||400 percent of poverty level|
You can apply for Obamacare subsidies through the government-run health insurance marketplace in your state or through qualifying licensed agents and private online marketplaces that cooperate with the government marketplace. The government makes the final determination on your eligibility for a subsidy, so you can shop through eHealth, but the subsidy actually comes through the government-run Marketplace.
Anyone applying for Obamacare subsidies should know the following: