Making sure you have healthcare is not only important, with the passage of the Affordable Healthcare Act, it’s the law. Paying health insurance premiums can be a challenge for low and middle income families, but the IRS has created a tax credit to help soften the blows associated with paying healthcare costs by enacting the Premium Tax Credit.
This tax credit allows individuals to get money back when they are required to purchase health insurance through the Marketplace for themselves of their family members. The tax credit applies only to coverage purchased through the Marketplace. The Marketplace is where you are able to research healthcare options, buy healthcare insurance and get help with premiums and costs if you qualify.
If you’re eligible to enroll in other coverages such as Medicaid or Medicare, TRICARE, or other employer healthcare programs or other government healthcare programs, you will not qualify for the credit.
Check Your Eligibility
To qualify, you must meet certain income guidelines. Household income must be at least 100% but not more than 400% of the Federal poverty line for your family size.
Tax credit amounts are based on a sliding scale, and the lower the income level is of an applicant, the greater the credit amount that is available. Other factors that affect the amount of the tax credit include a taxpayer’s family size, where they live and what the cost of their available insurance coverage is.
The Federal Poverty Level is adjusted annually, but in 2015, those levels were as follows:
|Federal Poverty Line for 2015 Returns|
|100% of FPL||400% of FPL|
|One Individual||$11,670||up to||$46,680|
|Family of two||$15,730||up to||$62,920|
|Family of four||$23,850||up to||$95,400|
One of the best parts about the Premium Tax Credit is that you can estimate your income and then take advance tax credit payments to lower your healthcare premium payment. This will be done when you are shopping for healthcare insurance in the Marketplace. However, if you take more advance payments on the tax credit that you qualify for, you’ll have to repay the difference when you actually file your tax return.
If your family size or income changes after you estimate what your tax credit will be, you will need to adjust your tax credit amount on your tax return. This can happen if you get a divorce, have a baby, adopt a child, get a new job, or any other number of life events that will create a change that you will need to address.