For people who have health insurance via the Obamacare exchanges or are considering getting it, the American Rescue Plan Act increases the premium tax credits, also known as subsidies, to help pay for coverage.
But how much in premium tax credits will people qualify for?
To answer that, a good resource is the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Health Insurance Market Calculator. Enter a few details such as one’s income, ZIP code, and age, and the Kaiser Family Foundation calculator will show the amount of the tax credit. For example, a 28-year-old single person making $ 30,000 annually in Los Angeles qualifies for a monthly tax credit of $ 214.
Understanding how the tax credit is calculated requires knowing two numbers. The first is the amount of income that Obamacare requires an individual to pay for a policy on the exchange. That same 28-year-old is required to pay 3.4% of his income, or $ 85 per month, toward a policy.
The second number is the price of the second-lowest-cost silver plan, also known as the benchmark plan, on the exchange. For that 28-year-old, the price is $ 299 per month. The tax credit ($ 214) is then calculated by subtracting the income amount, $ 85, from the price of the benchmark plan, $ 299.
The American Rescue Plan Act increased the tax credits by lowering the amount of income an individual or family must pay for a policy on the exchanges.
The Kaiser Family Foundation keeps previous versions of its calculator on its website, including the one for 2021 coverage prior to the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act. Before its passage, the 28-year-old would have had to pay 7.79% of his income, or $ 195 a month, toward coverage.
The act also lifted the income “cap” for tax credits. Previously, only those earning between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level would qualify for tax credits. Now, those making above 400% must pay 8.5% of their income toward coverage, after which they can receive a tax credit.
A couple aged 42 with two children living in Los Angeles making just above 400% of the federal poverty level ($ 105,000 annually) would have had to pay the full cost of the benchmark plan, $ 1,151 per month. Now, they will receive a monthly tax credit of $ 394.