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Health Insurance Glossary

Definitions for common health insurance terms

subsidies

DEFINITION: Individual subsidies were included in the health reform law to help ensure the goals of the legislation’s individual mandate. Legislation provides premium subsidies on a sliding scale to eligible individuals and families with incomes up to four times the federal poverty level to help them purchase coverage through the health insurance exchanges.

In addition, there are cost-sharing subsidies that will help eligible families reduce their out-of-pocket costs for healthcare. Subsidies will only be available within the exchanges. Premium subsides can be applied to any metal-level plan, but cost-sharing subsidies are only available on Silver plans.