obamacare-federal-poverty-level

What are Federal Poverty Levels Used for?

Federal Poverty Levels (which are also called Federal Poverty Guidelines, Federal Poverty Line, or simply FPL) are used to see if you qualify for cost assistance when buying insurance through the State or Federal Health Insurance Marketplace.

Federal Poverty Levels are also used to help determine Medicaid  and CHIP eligibility and to help determine eligibility for a number of other non-healthcare related assistance programs (see full list and more details on the guidelines below).

  • If you make between 100% – 400% of the Federal Poverty Level you may qualify for premium tax credits on the Health Insurance Marketplace.
  • If you make less than 138% of the Federal Poverty Level and your state expanded Medicaid, you may qualify for Medicaid or CHIP.
  • If you make between 100% – 250% of the Federal Poverty Level you may qualify for out-of-pocket cost assistance on Silver plans sold through the Marketplace.
  • Other assistance programs have unique eligibility guidelines.
  • Cost assistance for the Affordable Care Act is based on household income (family income). Household or family income for the purposes of the ACA uses the equation of Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) of the head of household (and spouse if filing jointly) plus the Adjusted Gross Income (AGI), of anyone claimed as a dependent. If you are filing as single, you only count Modified Adjusted Gross Income.
  • Tax credits can be taken in advance, based on of the Federal Poverty Level, and are adjusted on form 8962 at the end of the year.

A Quick Look at the Federal Poverty Level Guidelines Used for 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and Beyond

The tables below are simplified versions of the Federal Poverty Guidelines for 2013, 2014, and 2015 (2016 guidelines will be printed around January 20 2016 in the Federal Register by HHS). You will find more detailed guidelines that show different percentages of the poverty level, monthly guidelines, and state-specific guidelines for Hawaii and Alaska further down the page.

Simplified 2015 FPL Guidelines you’ll use for 2016 cost assistance, 2015 Medicaid and CHIP, and taxes filed April 15, 2017

Persons in household 2015 Federal
Poverty Level threshold
100% FPL
1 $11,770
2 15,930
3 20,090
4 24,250
5 28,410
6 32,570
7 36,730
8 40,890

NOTE: If your family contained more than 8 people, add $4,160 for each additional person. Note that Hawaii and Alaska use different guidelines.

Simplified 2014 FPL Guidelines you will use for 2015 cost assistance, 2014 Medicaid and CHIP, and taxes filed April 15, 2016

Persons in
Household
2014 Federal
Poverty Level threshold
100% FPL
1 $11,670
2 $15,730
3 $19,790
4 $23,850
5 $27,910
6 $31,970
7 $36,030
8 $40,090

NOTE: If your family size was more than 8 people, add $4,060 for each additional person. Note that Hawaii and Alaska use different guidelines.

Simplified 2013 FPL Guidelines you’ll use for 2014 cost assistance, 2013 Medicaid and CHIP, and taxes filed April 15, 2015

Persons in
Household
2013 Federal
Poverty Level threshold
100% FPL
1 $11,490
2 $15,510
3 $19,530
4 $23,550
5 $27,570
6 $31,590
7 $35,610
8 $39,630

NOTE: If your family size was more than 8 people, add $4,020 for each additional person. For example, if your family size is 11, you have 3 additional people. Multiply $4,020 by 3 and add the result of $12,060 to $39,630. Enter the result of $51,690 on Form 8962, line 4. Note that Hawaii and Alaska use different guidelines.

Quick Reference For Assistance Program Thresholds

Each assistance program may use different percentages of the Federal poverty level as thresholds. here is a quick overview of which programs use what.

100% = Baseline Eligibility for Community Service Block Grant (CSBG) funded Programs

125% = Maximum Eligibility for Community Service Block Grant (CSBG) funded Programs

138% = Maximum Eligibility for Medicaid and CHIP in states that expanded Medicaid

150% = Maximum Eligibility for United Way Rent and Utility Assistance programs, and the Employee Profit Sharing Plan (EPSP) and Emergency Shelter Grant (ESG) programs.

100% – 250% = Eligibility for cost sharing reduction subsidies on Silver plans bought on the Marketplace. (see 2015 guidelines further down the page).

100% – 400% = Eligibility for Premium tax credits on Health Insurance Marketplace plans (see 2015 guidelines further down the page).

How to Find a Percentage of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL)

The 100% Federal Poverty Threshold Guidelines above are a quick and easy way to look at what dollar amount each year’s poverty level is by family size. If you want to see what 400% of the poverty level is, you can multiply The Federal Poverty Level figures by 4 (300% FPL multiply by 3, 250% FPL multiply by 2.5, 138% FPL multiply by 1.38 etc. TIP: Always round up to the nearest dollar for poverty levels and taxes).

If you are looking for the monthly poverty levels – for determining Medicaid eligibility for instance – divide the annual number by the number of months you are trying to calculate (or see our 6 month and monthly charts below). (ie. for 2013 100% of the FPL for one person was $11,490. If you divide this number by 12 you get a figure of $957.50 per month)

If you want more details, or the want to use a pre-calculated table instead of doing the math yourself, we suggest using additional FPL Guidelines found further down the page. The more detailed Federal Poverty Level Guidelines below will be helpful for calculating assistance amounts for the Premium Tax Credit Form 8962 (NOTE: Alaska and Hawaii use different guidelines which are also provided below).

How to Use the Guidelines for Different Assistance Programs

Medicaid and CHIP use the current years guidelines, or technically the guidelines that are current at the “time of application” (ie. use 2015 guidelines for 2015, use 2016 guidelines when the new ones are released somewhere between January, 2016 and February, 2016 and are printed in the Federal register, typically around January 20th).

TIP: If you are applying for Medicaid or CHIP during or around the change over date, and are close to an eligibility threshold, take extra care of how you are reporting your income. Notice that poverty level dollar amounts increase every year.

For ObamaCare’s subsidies you should use the guidelines from the year before (ie. use 2014 guidelines for coverage starting in 2015; use 2015 guidelines for coverage starting after January 1st, 2016.).

TIP: If your state expanded Medicaid, and you make between 100% – 138% FPL, you may have to take Medicaid or CHIP. Keep this in mind if your goal is to get a private plan with subsidies rather than public state insurance.

Depending upon what assistance program you are applying for, you may need to look at income for a full 12 month year (like ObamaCare) or, in some cases monthly income, (like Medicaid and CHIP). The guidelines on this page show dollars amounts for 12 months. Either divide any dollar amount in the charts by the number of months you are looking for or see our monthly guidelines below.

Lastly, some assistance programs like the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) and Medicaid use Modified Adjusted Gross Income, while others use Adjusted Gross Income, or simply Gross Income. Make sure to understand specifics for any program you are applying for.

2015 Federal Poverty Guidelines – 48 Contiguous States & DC

Below are the 2015 Federal Poverty Guidelines used to calculate Premium caps, Premium Tax Credits (PTC), Cost Sharing Reduction subsidies (CSR) for 2016, and Medicaid eligibility for 2015. These are the most recent guidelines and will be used to calculate cost assistance for this year’s open enrollment period, Nov 1, 2015 – Jan 31, 2016. You’ll also use these when you file your taxes due April 15, 2017 (see 2014 guidelines below if filing for taxes due April 15, 2016 and 2013 guidelines below for taxes due April 15, 2015. )

 Household Size

 100%

 133%

 150%

200%

250%

 300%

400%

 1

$11,770

$15,654

$17,655

$23,540

$29,425

$35,310

$47,080

 2

15,930

 21,187

23,895

  31,860

39,825

47,790

63,720

 3

20,090

 26,720

30,135

  40,180

50,225

60,270

80,360

 4

24,250

 32,253

36,375

  48,500

60,625

72,750

97,000

 5

28,410

 37,785

42,615

  56,820

71,025

85,230

113,640

 6

32,570

 43,318

48,855

  65,140

81,425

97,710

130,280

 7

36,730

 48,851

55,095

  73,460

91,825

110,190

146,920

 8

40,890

 54,384

61,335

  81,780

102,225

122,670

163,560

NOTE: If your family size was more than 8 people, add $4,160 for each additional person. Note that Hawaii and Alaska use different guidelines, see below.

NOTE: All Federal Poverty Level (FPL) numbers and thresholds are based on 100% FPL. For instance, 200% FPL for an individual is $23,540 (11,770 x 2); in other words, it’s twice the 100% FPL of $11,770. For percentages not found on the Federal Poverty Level Guidelines use one of the calculation methods found on this page, for example: multiply the 100% FPL by 4 for 400% FPL, 3 for 300%, 2.5 for 250%, 1.38 for 138%, etc). Make sure to take into account family size. To find monthly amounts, divide by the amount of months you are looking for.

NOTE: Federal Poverty Guidelines themselves are based on Gross Income, not Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI). However, cost assistance in the Marketplace is based on Modified Adjusted Gross Income. As a result, you should use your Modified Adjusted Gross Income when referencing the FPL chart above for the purposes of the ACA. If you have dependents you will add their Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) to your Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) to get your household family income, which is used to determine cost assistance for families. For other assistance programs, you’ll need to check whether you should use Gross Income, Adjusted Gross Income, or Modified Adjusted Gross Income.

2015 POVERTY GUIDELINES – ALASKA

 Household Size

 100%

 133%

 150%

200%

250%

 300%

400%

 1

$14,720

$19,578

$22,080

$29,440

$36,800

$44,160

$58,880

 2

19,920

 26,494

29,880

  39,840

49,800

59,760

79,680

 3

25,120

 33,410

37,680

  50,240

62,800

75,360

100,480

 4

30,320

 40,326

45,480

  60,640

75,800

90,960

121,280

 5

35,520

 47,242

53,280

  71,040

88,800

106,560

142,080

 6

40,720

54,158

61,080

  81,440

101,800

122,160

162,880

 7

45,920

 61,074

68,880

  91,840

114,800

137,760

183,680

 8

51,120

 67,990

76,680

  102,240

127,800

153,360

204,480

2015 POVERTY GUIDELINES – HAWAII

 Household Size

 100%

 133%

 150%

200%

250%

 300%

400%

 1

$13,550

$18,022

$20,325

$27,100

$33,875

$40,650

$54,200

 2

18,330

 24,379

27,495

  36,660

45,825

54,990

73,320

 3

23,110

 30,736

34,665

  46,220

57,775

69,330

92,440

 4

27,890

 37,094

41,835

  55,780

69,725

83,670

111,560

 5

32,670

 43,451

49,005

  65,340

81,675

98,010

130,680

 6

37,450

 49,809

56,175

  74,900

93,625

112,350

149,800

 7

42,230

 56,166

63,345

  84,460

105,575

126,690

168,920

 8

47,010

 62,523

70,515

  94,020

117,525

141,030

188,040

Annual, 6 Month, and 1 Month 2015 – 2016 Federal Poverty Guidelines – 48 Contiguous States & DC

The Federal Poverty Guidelines below are to be used from Jan 20, 2015 to Jan 19, 2016. They are calculated based on the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines for 2015 released on Jan 22, 2015, in the Federal Register.

These guidelines are helpful for understanding Medicaid and CHIP eligibility levels and eligibility levels for non-healthcare related eligibility programs. See 2015 guidelines above these monthly guidelines to better understand cost assistance on ObamaCare’s Health Insurance Marketplace as they include 200% – 400% poverty levels.

 

Family
Size

12 Months Income

6 Months Income

1 Month Income

100%
Poverty
Guideline

125%
Poverty
Guideline

138%
Poverty
Guideline

150%
Poverty
Guideline

100%
Poverty
Guideline

125%
Poverty
Guideline

138%
Poverty
Guideline

150%
Poverty
Guideline

100%
Poverty
Guideline

125%
Poverty
Guideline

138%
Poverty
Guideline

150%
Poverty
Guideline

 1

11,770

14,713

16,243

17,655

  5,885

  7,356.50

8,121.50

  8,827.50

   980.83

1,226.08

1,353

1,471.25

 2

15,930

19,913

21,984

23,895

  7,965

  9,956.50

10,992

11,947.50

1,327.50

1,659.42

1,831

1,991.25

 3

20,090

25,113

27,725

30,135

10,045

12,556.50

13,862.50

15,067.50

1,674.17

2,092.75

2,310

2,511.25

 4

24,250

30,313

33,465

36,375

12,125

15,156.50

16,732.50

18,187.50

2,020.83

2,526.08

2,788

3,031.25

 5

28,410

35,513

39,206

42,615

14,205

17,756.50

19,603

21,307.50

2,367.50

2,959.42

3,267

3,551.25

 6

32,570

40,713

44,947

48,855

16,285

20,356.50

22,473.50

24,427.50

2,714.17

3.392.75

3,745

4,071.25

 7

36,730

45,913

50,688

55,095

18,365

22,956.50

25,344

27,547.50

3,060.83

3,826.08

4,223

4,591.25

 8

40,890

51,113

56,428

61,335

20,445

25,556.50

28,214

30,667.50

3,407.50

4,259.42

4,702

5,111.25

For each additional household member add:

 

4,160

 

5,200

 

5,740

 

6,240

 

2,080

 

2,600

 

2,870

 

3,120

 

346.66

 

433.33

 

478

 

520.00

NOTE: Hawaii and Alaska use different guidelines, see 2015 above monthly guidelines for more information

2014 Federal Poverty Guidelines – 48 Contiguous States & DC

Below are the 2014 Federal Poverty Guidelines used to calculate Premium caps, Premium Tax Credits (PTC), Cost Sharing Reduction subsidies (CSR) for 2015, and Medicaid eligibility for 2014. These are the most recent guidelines and will be used to calculate cost assistance for this year’s open enrollment period, Nov 15, 2014 – Feb 15, 2015. You will also use these when you file your taxes in 2016 (see 2013 guidelines below if filing for taxes due April 15, 2015):

Federal Poverty Guidelines 2014 – Continental U.S.

Persons in
Household
2014 Federal
Poverty Level
threshold
100% FPL
Medicaid
eligibility*
threshold
138% FPL
CSR* &
Premium Cap
eligibility
threshold
150% FPL
CSR
eligibility
threshold
250% FPL
PTC*
eligibility
threshold
400% FPL
1 $11,670 $16,105 $17,505 $29,175 $46,680
2 $15,730 $21,707 $23,595 $39,325 $62,920
3 $19,790 $27,310 $29,685 $49,475 $79,160
4 $23,850 $32,913 $35,775 $59,625 $95,400
5 $27,910 $38,516 $41,865 $69,775 $111,640
6 $31,970 $44,119 $47,955 $79,925 $127,880
7 $36,030 $49,721 $54,045 $90,075 $144,120
8 $40,090 $55,324 $60,135 $100,225 $160,360
*Medicaid eligibility is different in states that did not expand Medicaid.
Federal Poverty Guidelines are different in Hawaii and Alaska.
*CSR Cost Sharing Reduction subsidy
*PTC or Premium Tax Credits

 

2014 POVERTY GUIDELINES – ALASKA

Persons in Household Poverty Guideline
100% FPL
1 $14,580
2 19,660
3 24,740
4 29,820
5 34,900
6 39,980
7 45,060
8 50,140
For families/households with more than 8 persons, add $5,080 for each additional person.

2014 POVERTY GUIDELINES – HAWAII

Persons in Household Poverty guideline
100% FPL
1 $13,420
2 18,090
3 22,760
4 27,430
5 32,100
6 36,770
7 41,440
8 46,110
For families/households with more than 8 persons, add $4,670 for each additional person.

2013 Federal Poverty Guidelines – 48 Contiguous States & DC

Below are the 2013 Federal Poverty Guidelines used to calculate Premiums caps, Premium Tax Credits (PTC), Cost Sharing Reduction subsidies (CSR) for 2014 and Medicaid eligibility for 2013 (that open enrollment season was Oct 1st, 2013 – March 31st, 2014). If you are doing your 2014 taxes for the 2015 tax season, you will refer to the 2013 guidelines below:

Household Size 100% 133% 138% 150% 200% 300% 400%
1 $11,490 $15,282 $15,856 $17,235 $22,980 $34,470 $45,960
2 15,510 20,628 $21,404 23,265 31,020 46,530 62,040
3 19,530 25,975 $26,951 29,295 39,060 58,590 78,120
4 23,550 31,322 $32,499 35,325 47,100 70,650 94,200
5 27,570 36,668 $38,047 41,355 55,140 82,710 110,280
6 31,590 42,015 $43,594 47,385 63,180 94,770 126,360
7 35,610 47,361 $49,142 53,415 71,220 106,830 142,440
8 39,630 52,708 $54,689 59,445 79,260 118,890 158,520
For each additional person, add $4,020 $5,347 $5,548 $6,030 $8,040 $12,060 $16,080

2013 Federal Poverty Guidelines – Alaska

Household Size 100% 133% 138% 150% 200% 300% 400%
1 $14,350 $19,086 $19,803 $21,525 $28,700 $43,050 $57,400
2 19,380 25,775 $26,744 29,070 38,760 58,140 77,520
3 24,410 32,465 $33,686 36,615 48,820 73,230 97,640
4 29,440 39,155 $40,627 44,160 58,880 88,320 117,760
5 34,470 45,845 $47,569 51,705 68,940 103,410 137,880
6 39,500 52,535 $54,510 59,250 79,000 118,500 158,000
7 44,530 59,225 $61,451 66,795 89,060 133,590 178,120
8 49,560 65,915 $68,393 74,340 99,120 148,680 198,240
For each additional person, add $5,030 $6,690 $6,941 $7,545 $10,060 $15,090 $20,120

2013 Federal Poverty Guidelines – Hawaii

Household Size 100% 133% 138% 150% 200% 300% 400%
1 $13,230 $17,596 $18,257 $19,845 $26,460 $39,690 $52,920
2 17,850 23,741 $24,633 26,775 35,700 53,550 71,400
3 22,470 29,885 $31,009 33,705 44,940 67,410 89,880
4 27,090 36,030 $37,384 40,635 54,180 81,270 108,360
5 31,710 42,174 $43,760 47,565 63,420 95,130 126,840
6 36,330 48,319 $50,135 54,495 72,660 108,990 145,320
7 40,950 54,464 $56,511 61,425 81,900 122,850 163,800
8 45,570 60,608 $62,887 68,355 91,140 136,710 182,280
For each additional person, add $4,620 $6,145 $6,376 $6,930 $9,240 $13,860 $18,480

What Do They Mean By “Household Size”?

For most families, household size is 1 (for yourself) plus the number of people that you can claim as dependents on your income tax return. This may include children, parents, or other relatives who qualify as dependents on your tax return. Children of divorced parents are counted as the family of the parent who claims them as a dependent (even if the other parent has to pay for the child’s health insurance). Do not include children who earn enough to support themselves – and thus are no longer eligible as dependents – even if they still live at home or are included in your family’s health insurance plan.

What Does Income Include?

Expected 2014 gross income (before taxes) includes wages, tips, net profit from self-employment, interest, rental income, other investment income, most pensions, social security payments, and alimony. This will be the amount called “Modified Adjusted Gross Income” (MAGI) shown on your tax return: line 4 of Form 1040EZ, line 21 of 1040A, or line 37 of form 1040. If your only income is from a job, it is the number shown in box 1 of your W2 form. Include income of all dependents (for example, a child’s summer earnings or a dependent’s social security) even if they filed a separate tax return.

What are Federal Poverty Thresholds?

The poverty thresholds are the original version of the federal poverty measure. They are updated each year by the Census Bureau. The thresholds are used mainly for statistical purposes — for instance, preparing estimates of the number of Americans in poverty each year. In other words, all official poverty population statistics are calculated using the poverty thresholds — not the guidelines.

You will use the Federal Poverty Level Guidelines to calculate your cost assistance on the Health Insurance Marketplace and for other assistance programs.

What are Federal Poverty Guidelines?

The Federal Poverty Guidelines are a simplification of the poverty thresholds used for administrative purposes — for instance, determining financial eligibility for certain federal programs. They are issued in January of each year in the Federal Register by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

How Do the Federal Poverty Levels Work?

Federal Poverty Guidelines depend on the total number of persons in a household. For healthcare purposes, the same figures are used in the 48 contiguous states and in the District of Columbia, while higher values (reflecting the higher cost of living) are used for Hawaii and Alaska. The 100% column shows the federal poverty guideline “amount” for each family size, and the percentage columns that follow represent income level thresholds commonly used to determine health care costs and eligibility for health programs like the Affordable Care Act. See the full list below for everything the Federal Poverty Guidelines are used for.

Cost Assistance and The Federal Poverty Guidelines

As a rule of thumb, if your family income is between one and four times the published Federal Poverty Guideline (100% – 400% FPL) for your household size and you are not eligible for employer or public assisted healthcare (such as Medicaid or Medicare), then you will be able to receive premium subsidies to help you Purchase Affordable Insurance through the Marketplace.

The Premium Tax Credit (PTC) is a “tax credit” you can file for on your tax return if you had a Marketplace plan and met the requirements. You can also take this tax credit in advance as an Advanced Premium Tax Credit (Advanced PTC) and have the tax credit paid in-part or in-whole directly to the Insurance Provider You Choose.

The amount paid in advance reduces the monthly premium you have to pay. If, at the end of the year, your income turns out to be more or less than expected, the PTC will be adjusted (or reconciled) up to the repayment limit for your income and the difference will either be added to or taken from any tax refund due.

Other cost assistance offered on the Marketplace includes Cost Sharing Reduction subsidies to help with out-of-pocket costs (100%-250% FPL on Silver plans only) and Medicaid. Medicaid eligibility levels differ by state; in states that expanded Medicaid, any household with income of 138% FPL or less qualifies.

Generally, cost assistance is based on projected income for the upcoming year, although last years income can be used to help estimate your assistance amounts.

Federal Poverty Level Facts

• If you make less than four times (400%) of the FPL, you may qualify for reduced premiums through the marketplace due to Advanced Premium Tax Credits.

• If your income is below two and a half times (250%) the FPL, you qualify for a policy with reduced deductibles, copayments, and lower out-of-pocket maximum costs due to Cost Sharing Reduction subsidies (Silver plans only).

• If you live in a State that has agreed to expand Medicaid and your household income is up to 138% of the relevant FPL, you probably qualify for Medicaid. In States that don’t expand Medicaid, the threshold is typically between 100% – 133% FPL (but can be as low as 50% FPL), though many other restrictions can affect your eligibility as well.

• For the purposes of the ACA, Federal Poverty Levels are based on your projected Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) for the upcoming year. For example, if you think you will make $29,175 in 2015 (taxable income after deductions), you will qualify for both Cost Sharing Reduction subsidies and Advanced Premium Tax Credits (PTC) in the marketplace based on the 2014 guidelines.

NOTE: Not all assistance programs that use the FPL guidelines use Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI); some use gross income. This changes how you calculate your income, not the numbers on the FPL guidelines.

• If your income is below the minimum threshold for filing a tax return ($10,150 for an individual or $20,300 for a couple for 2015), or if the lowest cost coverage offered to you would cost more than 8% of MAGI for self-only coverage, then you are exempt from the fee for not having coverage. However, you may still qualify for marketplace cost assistance or Medicaid. Visit HealthCare.Gov to obtain an exemption or cost assistance.

ADVICE: Try using a Health Savings Account (HSA) to bring down your MAGI for maximum savings on qualifying plans.

• To avoid confusion, look at 2013 guidelines for 2014 coverage (when doing taxes in 2015) and 2014 guidelines for cost assistance for the upcoming year 2015 (which you’ll file for in 2016).

Each year Obamacare’s cost assistance eligibility levels are based on the Federal Poverty Level Guidelines that are already in place at the start of open enrollment (Nov 15, 2014 for 2015, Nov 1, 2015 for 2016). For 2016, premium subsidies, cost-sharing assistance, and taxes are based on the 2015 Federal Poverty Guidelines. If you are doing your taxes due April 2015 in regards to 2014, use the 2013 guidelines for reference.

How are Federal Poverty Levels Calculated?

For the purposes of understanding what subsidies you are eligible for, a simple way to calculate where you stand on the Federal Poverty Guidelines is to divide your family’s expected MAGI (Modified Adjusted Gross Income) by the 100% federal poverty level dollar amount for your household size, and then to multiply the outcome by 100.

NOTE: if you don’t expect your income to change much, simply base your MAGI on last year’s tax returns. If you are trying to figure your FPL percentage for another assistance type unrelated to the Affordable Care Act, use AGI or GI when appropriate.

EXAMPLE: In 2015, for a family of 4 making $95,400, using the 2014 base 100% FPL level $23,850:

$95,400 ÷ $23,850 = 4
4 x 100 = 400
which is 400% FPL

We strongly suggest using the charts above if this seems confusing. Your cost assistance will be calculated automatically when you apply for the Health Insurance Marketplace. You can also use this Federal Poverty Level Calculator from safetyweb.org.

The long answer about how the Federal Poverty Guidelines are calculated can be found at Census.gov or HHS.gov.

What Else are Federal Poverty Levels Used For?

According to HHS, Federal Poverty Guidelines are also used for:

  • Department of Health and Human Services:
    • Community Services Block Grant
    • Head Start
    • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
    • PARTS of Medicaid
    • Hill-Burton Uncompensated Services Program
    • AIDS Drug Assistance Program
    • Children’s Health Insurance Program
    • Medicare – Prescription Drug Coverage (subsidized portion only)
    • Community Health Centers
    • Migrant Health Centers
    • Family Planning Services
    • Health Professions Student Loans — Loans for Disadvantaged Students
    • Health Careers Opportunity Program
    • Scholarships for Health Professions Students from Disadvantaged Backgrounds
    • Job Opportunities for Low-Income Individuals
    • Assets for Independence Demonstration Program
  • Department of Agriculture:
    • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (formerly Food Stamp Program)
    • Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
    • National School Lunch Program (for free and reduced-price meals only)
    • School Breakfast Program (for free and reduced-price meals only)
    • Child and Adult Care Food Program (for free and reduced-price meals only)
    • Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program
  • Department of Energy:
    • Weatherization Assistance for Low-Income Persons
  • Department of Labor:
    • Job Corps
    • National Farmworker Jobs Program
    • Senior Community Service Employment Program
    • Workforce Investment Act Youth Activities
  • Department of the Treasury:
    • Low-Income Taxpayer Clinics
  • Corporation for National and Community Service:
    • Foster Grandparent Program
    • Senior Companion Program
  • Legal Services Corporation:
    • Legal Services for the Poor

NOTE: Not all assistance programs use Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) to determine assistance. See each program has its own income and other eligibility requirements.

What Is the Federal Poverty Level for 2014 – 2015?
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