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This document is the proprietary work product of Health Insurance Advisors and intended for the sole use of our clients.

ACA – Affordable Care Act / Obamacare                                         Government Subsidies for Health Insurance

2021 Key Subsidy Information

Subsidies are available to individuals and families with income between 100% to  400% of the FPL – chart below.

The approved subsidy amount will provide a direct and immediate offset; reducing the monthly cost of health insurance for the eligible individual. For coverage in 2021 the subsidy amount is based on:

  • Estimated 2021 household income i.e., estimated modified adjusted gross income (MAGI)
  • Expected tax filing status for 2021 i.e., single or joint and # of dependents claimed – refer to 2020 tax return as a guide*

If 2021 estimated income is above the Maximum Income shown on the chart below – you are not eligible.

If your estimate turns out to be different than the actual income, you will be required to “square up” with the IRS when filing your 2021 tax return in the spring of 2022.

Example: If the 2021 estimated income is lower than the actual 2021 income; causing a higher subsidy to have been paid by the government – you will owe the difference back to the IRS.  Conversely, if the actual 2021 income turns out to be lower than the estimated income on the subsidy application, you will receive an additional credit when you file your tax return.

Note: 2021 estimated household income must be above the 100% Minimum Income Amount Shown on the chart below in order to be eligible for a subsidy. If the 2021 estimated household income is less than the 100% minimum income – there is no subsidy available.

2021 Subsidies are based on the 2020 Federal Poverty Level Guidelines


Tax Filing Status

# exemptions claimed on 1040



250% 400%


1 $12,760 $31,900 $51,040
2 $17,240 $43,100 $68,960
3 $21,720 $54,300 $86,880
4 $26,200 $65,500 $104,800
5 $30,680 $76,700 $122,720

Cost Sharing

  • If an individual’s 2021 estimated income is between 100% – 250% they may be eligible for additional government credits called cost sharing.
  • Cost Sharing means the government makes payments (in addition to the premium subsidy) to the insurance company that reduces the member’s deductibles, copays and out of pocket maximums.

Cost Sharing Strategy Tip: The IRS will not “square up or recapture” the cost sharing benefit if an individual’s actual 2021 income ends up higher than the estimated amount submitted. Therefore, in some cases, if you are unsure of your income, it may be beneficial to estimate income on the lower end, rather than the higher end. Because at the lower estimated income you may fall in the cost-sharing category. The IRS will always square-up on the monthly subsidy amount, so you will need to budget accordingly.

Remember: If an individual will be under the 250% FPL income level,  be sure to consider the Silver plan in order to be eligible for the additional Cost Sharing benefits.

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