Who ISN’T eligible for Obamacare’s premium subsidies?

Q. Obamacare advocates frequently talk about how most exchange enrollees qualify for government subsidies. But who is left out? Aren’t there some people who really want and need the tax credits who aren’t eligible?

A. You aren’t eligible for government subsidies to help cover health insurance premiums if:

Understandably, people who earn a little more than 400 percent of the FPL are often very disappointed when they don’t qualify for a premium subsidy. And for some of them – particularly older applicants in areas where coverage is very expensive – coverage remains unaffordable. If your income is just a little over the subsidy-eligibility threshold, you can talk with a tax advisor about strategies for lowering your modified adjusted gross income to make it subsidy-eligible.


Louise Norris is an individual health insurance broker who has been writing about health insurance and health reform since 2006. She has written dozens of opinions and educational pieces about the Affordable Care Act for healthinsurance.org. Her state health exchange updates are regularly cited by media who cover health reform and by other health insurance experts.

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