Will my income count toward my boyfriend’s household income if he applies for exchange coverage?

Q. My boyfriend and I live together and are not married. We have a child and both my daughter and I are covered by my employer’s health insurance. My boyfriend doesn’t have insurance. I earn $32,000 and he earns $18,000.  If he applied for insurance in the state marketplace, would my income count toward his household income?

A. No, assuming he files his own tax return as a household of one. In that case, only his $18,000 income would be counted, and he’ll be eligible for a subsidy.

If you were married, you’d have to file a joint tax return in order for him to be eligible for subsidies, and your combined income would be counted. And if you claim him as a dependent on your income tax, he would be considered a part of your three-person household, and combined household income would be counted.

But as long as you each file your own tax returns, his subsidy eligibility will be counted based on his own income alone. Whichever one of you counts your daughter as a tax dependent has a household of two, and the other has a household of one.

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Related terms

health insurance exchange

health insurance marketplace