The new Federal Poverty Level guidelines: What they mean to you

12824411_MThe new Federal Poverty Level guidelines have been released for 2016. You earn a decent income, so what could these numbers possibly mean to you? Turns out, plenty. Federal poverty levels are used to determine your eligibility for subsidies or tax credits that can help cover part of the cost of purchasing health insurance for you and your family.

Federal tax credits and subsidies designed to help consumers pay for health insurance are generally available for those earning between 100 percent and 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. That means these benefits are not only available to low-income people but many middle-class individuals and families as well. The FPL guidelines for 2016 are:

  • $11,880 for individuals
  • $16,020 for a family of 2
  • $20,160 for a family of 3
  • $24,300 for a family of 4
  • $28,440 for a family of 5
  • $32,580 for a family of 6
  • $36,730 for a family of 7
  • $40,890 for a family of 8

You may be surprised to learn you qualify for a health insurance subsidy even if your income is substantially higher than the FPL guidelines. Many people, for example, don’t realize that an individual earning less than $47,520 (400 percent of $11,800) could qualify for some level of assistance. Also in the eligible income category: A family of two making less than $64,080, a family of three with an income of less than $80,640 and a family of four earning less than $97,200.

The new 2016 guidelines were published in January and are effective April 1. Applicants applying for financial assistance for coverage starting April 1 will be evaluated using the new 2016 FPL levels. Curious about whether you qualify for either a tax credit or subsidy? We can help you determine if you are eligible and analyze all of your health insurance options.