2018 Federal Poverty Level Chart

Here’s the 2018 Federal Poverty Level chart. These are the figures that will be used for calculating subsidy eligibility for the 2019 plan year. Take a look at the chart and then we’ll explain what each component means below:

 

What the Federal Poverty Level Chart Means for Obamacare

The federal poverty level is set by the federal government each year as a function of household size and income. The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) provides subsidies for qualifying households who enroll in Marketplace plans. The amount and type of subsidy varies. There are two different subsidies available:

Premium Tax Credits

The premium tax credit is a subsidy that lowers the monthly cost of your health insurance plan.

To qualify for a Premium Tax Credit, your income must be between 100-400% of the federal poverty level. So find your household size on the left (this is how many people you will claim on your taxes). The subsidy amount is on a sliding scale, so the lower your income, the greater the subsidy amount.

Some people will find they can purchase plans (usually bronze level plans) for free, because they qualify for a subsidy amount that is less than the plan’s premium. (This will be especially true in South Carolina). But everyone who qualifies will get some relief, and this usually makes a significant (huge, even) difference in what you pay.

Cost-Sharing Subsidies

The second type of subsidy available in Obamacare are cost-sharing subsidies. These are subsidies that will lower your out-of-pocket costs on silver plans (note it’s only on silver plans). You’ll find lower deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums and potentially lower copays too.

There are 3 levels of cost-sharing subsidies, based on your household size and income on the chart above:

  • 100-150% of federal poverty level
  • 150-200% of federal poverty level
  • 200-250% of federal poverty level

Again, the discounts are deepest for those in the first group, and move up from there. But if your income meets any of these criteria, you’ll want to take a hard look at the silver plans because you’ll get better benefit levels there.

Open Enrollment for 2019

The Open Enrollment period for the 2019 benefit year will be November 1 – December 15, 2018.

You can use our online enrollment platform to get subsidy estimates and see prices on plans.