October 1st is officially behind us, which means open enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace has formally begun, also known as the health insurance “exchanges.” Now Americans across the nation are scrambling to understand what Obamacare really means for them and their wallets – in specific, government subsidies. So let's take a closer look at what government subsidies are and then how to use the provided subsidy calculator.

What are government subsidies in the exchange?  

Subsidies are tax credits that can be cashed in on immediately to reduce monthly premiums for those who qualify. Qualification is based on those who are under 65 years old and have low/moderate incomes (between 100% and 400% of the poverty line), are not eligible for employer health coverage, and do not qualify for Medicare/Medicaid.

Note: states can now expand Medicaid to cover all people (meaning those under 65) earning up to 138% of the federal poverty line. However, only 26 states have adopted this expansion to date, so residents in this category may still be eligible for subsidies through their state’s exchange.

How do I know if I qualify for exchange subsidies and how much I might qualify for?

Developed by The Kaiser Family Foundation, this subsidy calculator is meant to help individuals and families better understand potential premiums and subsidies when considering an exchange policy. State, income, age, and family size are used in the subsidy calculator.

Remember, eligibility and premiums may vary. For the most accurate information, please visit/contact your state’s exchange office. For access to your state’s exchange, start  here or call 1-800-318-2596.

Check it out! 

Please visit our Health Care Reform page for more helpful information related to the Affordable Care Act and exchange policies.

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