Affordable Care Act

Part 4: Cost of Insurance Through the Exchange


I’m back again this month to share Part 4, the final installment of the Affordable Care Act series. If you haven’t seen the first three articles in the series, be sure to check them out (in the links below), as they answered the most frequently asked tax questions of 2016.

The final part of my series answers the questions, “How much will insurance cost me through the exchange?” and “What if I can’t afford the premiums?”

How much will insurance cost me through the exchange?

The cost of health insurance coverage through the exchange depends upon several factors, such as:

  • Your income
  • Your age
  • How many family members the plan covers
  • Where you live
  • Whether or not you smoke

What if I can’t afford the premiums?

If you make below a certain income, you could qualify for a subsidy, which would make your premiums very low or even free.

The law is relatively generous with subsidies for qualifying taxpayers who have an income level between 100 to 400 percent of the federal poverty level:

  • Individuals = Between $11,880 and $47,520/annually
  • Family of four = Up to $97,200/annually

There are also subsidies available for deductibles and co-payments for people who have an income level that is less than 2.5 times the poverty level:

  • Individuals = $29,700/annually
  • Family of four = Up to $60,750/annually

These subsidy amounts are based on your modified adjusted gross income and include your wages and interest income. Those amounts are then reduced by certain deductions such as tuition and self-employment taxes.

As with most things in life, you do get what you pay for, so buyers beware and shop carefully. The cheaper the plan, the higher the deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs associated. Also, you’ll want to check the limited list of doctors and hospitals covered in the plan before you register.

Visit to learn more and enroll for coverage.

If you have other questions, feel free to contact me directly by email at

Contributed by: Tina L. Moe, CPA, President & CEO


Affordable Care Act Series:

Part 1 – Individual Shared Responsibility Payment
Part 2 – Exemptions for the Penalties
Part 3 – The Health Insurance Exchange