Many of us will qualify for financial help to afford health insurance this fall and the tax returns you file this April can show whether you are eligible. This is based on what’s known as your modified adjusted gross income. You can find that by adding your adjusted gross income, any tax-exempt interest you earn, and any tax-free Social Security benefits you receive.
What Amount of Income Qualifies for a Subsidy?
Individuals with a modified adjusted gross income of up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level (about $44,680) are qualified. Four hundred percent is around $92,200 if your family has four members. The annual cost of health insurance premiums is not to exceed 9.5 percent of annual income. Premium costs will be capped and the cost of premiums that exceed that limit will be offset by tax credits.
Subsidies Are Linked to Percentage of Income
Those who have an income of up to 250 percent of the poverty line will even qualify for health insurance with smaller deductibles and co-payments. That reduces what they pay for actual health that’s not covered by health insurance.
For an individual, 250 percent of the poverty line is roughly $22,340. If your family includes four people, that level is around $46,100 in annual income.
Perfectly Legal Tweaking
Depending on your income, you might end up right on the border of one of these categories. In that case, consider contributing to a retirement account, which you can deduct from your income. That may help you qualify for lower health insurance costs just by saving for retirement.
And, if you’re married and plan to file separately, you may want to reconsider. According to Cheryl Fish-Parcham, the deputy director of Families USA, it’s just about impossible to qualify for these tax credits to lower your cost for health insurance when you’re married and filing separately.
Amanda Grace is a contributing author to HSA for America and an expert on Health Savings Accounts.