If you’re worried about the cost of health insurance premiums in the exchanges, it might help to know that – thanks to the law’s generous subsidies – your premiums could end up a lot lower than you expect.
More than half of the uninsured don’t know that financial assistance in the form of subsidies is available in the exchanges. A few more quick facts about Obamacare subsidies:
- The subsidies are tax credits, which means you can opt to pay full price for your coverage (purchased through the exchange) each month, and then get your tax credit when you file your tax return. But unlike other tax credits, the subsidies can be taken throughout the year, paid directly to your health insurer to offset the cost of your coverage.
- Although the ACA is likely to change under the Trump Administration, nothing is changing for 2017. Subsidies are still available, and will continue to be available throughout the year. This will probably be the case for 2018 as well.
- Nearly 85 percent of people enrolled in exchange plans in 2016 received subsidies that averaged $291 per month. And the subsidies are larger in 2017, due to increasing premiums: Of the 8.7 million people who enrolled in plans for 2017 through HealthCare.gov by December 24, 2016, more than 80 percent were eligible for subsidies that average $386 per month.
- Subsidies can lower your premium significantly, but the law also provides subsidies that can reduce your cost sharing.
- The average after-subsidy premium paid by the millions of enrollees who got premium subsidies in 2016 through Healthcare.gov was only $106 per month. For these enrollees, premium subsidies covered an average of 73 percent of their total premiums.
It pays to calculate your subsidy!