Affordable Care Act

What Do You Need Before You Apply for Obamacare Subsidies?

Published on April 01, 2014


finding out about health insurance subsidyBy now, most people know that the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) makes subsidies available to help lower-income people afford health insurance (watch our video on how subsidies work).
If you want to apply for Obamacare subsidy, or check and see if you qualify, here are a some of the things you should know and some of the documents you should have with you when you start the process:

Average Time:
45 minutes to an Hour
eHealth recommends people have 45-60 minutes of free time to complete the application process over the phone. If you’re not applying through, you must also be at a computer. Tablets and smartphones won’t work with most exchanges.
Social Security Numbers When applying for an Obamacare subsidy, you must have the Social Security number of everyone you plan to claim on your taxes in 2014. Even if the people you’re claiming on your taxes will not be applying for the Obamacare subsidy, have their Social Security numbers ready.
Naturalization Numbers  To qualify for a government subsidy, you must be a U.S. citizen or a legal immigrant (examples are if you’re a naturalized citizen or otherwise legally present in the United States). To apply for Obamacare subsidy, have the documents that prove you legal immigration status or your citizenship with you. These include (but are not limited to) your naturalization papers, green card, or work visa. In particular, have your naturalization numbers available.
Income Data To qualify for an Obamacare subsidy, your Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) must be between 100% and 400% of the Federal Poverty Level. If you have other minimum essential coverage, you may be ineligible for a government subsidy. Rather than trying to figure that out on your own, have all of your employer and income information available for every member of your household who needs coverage. Even if your kids work part-time, it’s helpful to have their W-2s handy. Subsidy determination will be based on your 2014 income, not 2013, but if your income is relatively unchanged, it’s not a bad idea to also have your 2013 pay stubs, W-2 forms, and tax statements available to help estimate your 2014 MAGI.
Current Insurance If you or any member of your family is already insured, have the policy numbers for your current health plan available.


Who may qualify for Obamacare subsidies?

Subsidy determinations can only be made by the government.

  • You must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or otherwise be legally present in the U.S.
  • You cannot be incarcerated.
  • You can’t have access to “affordable” health insurance from a guaranteed source (like employer-based coverage or Medicare) or other minimum essential coverage.
  • Your household income (MAGI) must be between 100% and 400% of the Federal Poverty Level.

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