Obamacare subsidy calculator
This tool provides estimates before you review available plans.
This calculator is not currently valid for Massachusetts.
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 could eventually change under the Trump Administration, it is still intact for 2018. Subsidies are still available, and the law’s requirement that people maintain coverage or else face a tax penalty is still in place for 2018 (the individual mandate was repealed in the GOP tax bill that was enacted in December 2017, but that provision doesn’t take effect until 2019; people who don’t have coverage in 2018 will have to pay a penalty when they file their taxes in 2019, unless they qualify for an exemption). One thing that has changed, however, is the size of premium subsidies (due to the way the cost of cost-sharing reductions was added to premiums). In most states, subsidies are significantly larger for 2018 than they were in 2017, resulting in millions of people having access to free bronze plans, and/or gold plans that are significantly less expensive than they were the year before.
- Of the 9.2 million people who enrolled in plans for 2017 through HealthCare.gov during open enrollment, nearly 85 percent were eligible for subsidies that averaged $323 per month. Once the averages are calculated for 2018, the subsidy amounts will be even larger.
- 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 2017 through Healthcare.gov was only $153 per month. For these enrollees, premium subsidies covered more than two-thirds of their total premiums. Once the numbers are finalized for 2018, we’re likely to see average subsidies covering an even larger percentage of enrollees’ premiums, since silver plan rates grew by more than other metal levels’ rates for 2018, resulting in disproportionately large subsidies.
- Premium subsidies don’t apply to supplemental coverage, including accident supplements, adult dental/visions plans (or pediatric dental/vision plans that are sold separately from metal coverage, as opposed to being embedded in the medical plan), critical illness plans, or stand-alone prescription drug insurance (but there are free prescription drug discount plans available).
It pays to calculate your subsidy!