If you meet the criteria, you might be able to get a subsidy to help you pay for your health care plan. You can use it for any plan offered in the health insurance marketplace (also known as exchanges).
How to qualify: You have to make less than a certain amount (as reported on your last federal tax return). You must be a U.S. citizen or legal U.S. alien.
Who qualifies for a subsidy?
People who are 100 to 400% of the federal poverty level.* That means you make between $11,670 and $46,680 a year (in 2014).
A family of four that is 100 to 400% of the federal poverty level,* meaning you make between $23,850 and $95,400 a year (in 2014).
People who are up to 250% of the federal poverty level. This group might get an extra subsidy with a silver level plan.
If you qualified for a subsidy for your 2014 health care coverage, you still need to re-qualify to see if you are able to get a subsidy for your 2015 health care coverage.
Learn more about the health insurance marketplace.
Here's what's new
Open enrollment for 2015 health care coverage begins November 15, 2014 and ends February 15, 2015. However, in order for your coverage to start on January 1, 2015 you need to enroll in a plan by December 15, 2014.
How it could impact you
If you can get a subsidy, you'll pay a lower monthly premium when you buy a plan in the health insurance marketplace.
If I qualify, do I wait until tax time to get the credit?
No. You can get it when you pay for your health insurance. It will be taken from your premium. The IRS will send the amount of your tax credit to the insurance company.
What if I buy a plan from an insurer?
You can still do that. Tax credits can only be used when you buy a plan in the marketplace.
Other than earnings, what else determines if I get a tax credit?
- Number of people in your family
- Your age
- Where you live
These things also influence how large of a tax credit you get back.
*Keep in mind, if you're not eligible for a government-sponsored program, like Medicare or Medicaid, or other sources of minimum essential coverage, you may still qualify for financial support to lower your premium through a tax credit or subsidy if your income is between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level.