Author: HummingbirdinsAdmin

What income is counted in determining my eligibility for premium tax credits?

Eligibility for premium tax credits is based on your Modified Adjusted Gross Income, or MAGI. When you file a federal income tax return, you must report your adjusted gross income (which includes wages and salaries, interest and dividends, unemployment benefits, and several other sources of income.)  MAGI modifies your adjusted gross income by adding to it any non-taxable Social Security benefits you receive, any tax-exempt interest you earn, and any foreign income you earned that was excluded from your income for tax purposes.

Note that eligibility for Medicaid and CHIP is also based on MAGI, although some additional modifications may be made in determining eligibility for these programs. Contact your Marketplace or your state Medicaid program for more information.

I’m enrolled in COBRA now but I want to drop it. Does that affect my eligibility for Marketplace subsidies?

No, having COBRA doesn’t affect your eligibility for premium tax credits. However, you can only drop COBRA and sign up for a Marketplace plan and premium tax credits during Open Enrollment. You will have to drop your COBRA coverage effective on the date your new Marketplace plan coverage begins. After Open Enrollment ends, however, if you voluntarily drop your COBRA coverage or stop paying premiums, you will not be eligible for a special enrollment opportunity and will have to wait until the next Open Enrollment period.

My kids are eligible for the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Can I enroll them in our Marketplace health plan and get premium tax credits for them instead?

You can add your children to your Marketplace plan, but because they are eligible for your state’s Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), they are not eligible for premium tax credits. The exception to that is if you live in a state that has a waiting period for enrolling in CHIP. During the waiting period, your children are eligible for a premium tax credit; when the waiting period has ended they can enroll in CHIP and will become ineligible for the tax credit.

If I’m eligible for other coverage but haven’t enrolled in it yet, can I qualify for premium tax credits in the Marketplace?

For certain types of coverage, if you are eligible but not enrolled, then you can still qualify for premium tax credits. These include:

  • Retiree health coverage offered by a former employer
  • COBRA coverage
  • Student health plan coverage
  • Medicare Part A coverage requiring payment of premiums

In addition, during Open Enrollment, if you are already enrolled in these types of coverage, you can apply for Marketplace coverage and subsidies and then drop your other coverage as of the date your new Marketplace coverage will take effect.

However, if you are eligible for job-based coverage (that is affordable and meets minimum value) or for Medicaid or CHIP, but you didn’t enroll, then you are not eligible for premium tax credits.

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