How is MAGI Adjusted for Child Support for ObamaCare Subsidies?

Good morning. I currently make $3250 a month NET. After withholdings like Taxes, SS, Medicare etc, I receive $2632.08. Of that amount child support is automatically taken out in the amount of $1311.54 which is 50% of my current salary.

I get the burden of paying taxes on the child support. I get that. What I don’t understand and I need your help in understanding is that, true I make $3200 net, or $2632.08 gross, but I only take home $1311 to live. If I only have $1311.54 to live on and it is required by law to have health insurance, but I only qualify for $48 per month tax credit because on paper I Net $3250 , how can I get health insurance? The way this is set up forces me not to have health insurance hence forcing me to break the law and get fined. I have not had health insurance since my divorce three years ago.

I would like health insurance, I would like to follow the law, but I also have to live. Please help me understand my options if in fact everyone under this act should be able to afford health insurance. I can’t!

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As part of ibma do have to paychild support till there 26yr


Not specifically, but in general state and county judicial systems have their own laws regarding child support. Generally (as general, but not professional advice) you should contact the local court system to find out specific rules for you and of course you should follow any current custody agreement in the meantime.


I applied for Medicaid for myself. Was denied. I knew I make too much money because they count my income from work and my child support. In the state of Texas, my family of 4 can only make $277 A MONTH in order for me as an adult to qualify for Medicaid. So they sent my application to the marketplace. After going over the application, where they mistakenly put that I make $52,000 every 2 weeks, and my child support was entered as $600 every 2 weeks. I make $700 every 2 weeks at my job and get $360 every 2 weeks for child support. That makes $17,000 a year at my job, but add in my child support, which the state of Texas considers as income and I make about $24,000 a year. With that figure I qualify for a subsidy to help pay for my insurance. When I looked a little closer at the application I find out that I’m NOT SUPPOSED to count it as income. But my state does and that disqualifies me partly for Medicaid. At $17,000 a year I am too rich for Medicaid and too poor to qualify for the subsidy to help pay for my insurance. When I called the marketplace they said great news. I don’t have to get insurance based on my low income. I WANT INSURANCE!!! I just cannot afford the $450 a month I would have to pay for it. And also I called 4 times to ask about including my child support as income. Twice I was told NOT to count it and twice told that I COULD USE IT. If I use it, next year when I do my taxes I believe I will have to pay it back because I do not use my child support as a source of taxable income. What would have happened if I did what they told me? I’m so confused and just need to see a doctor for my deteriorating health but I am what u call working poor.i am a single mom of 3 and work full time and can’t get a lot of help.


Patricia, did you ever find out the correct answer? I’m in the same boat paying child support and not qualifying for Medicaid because they somehow count that as income, how does that make any sense??!! I pay taxes on it, it’s gone, I never physically see the money, but they can use imaginary money I don’t see when considering how much I have to live on? I am absolutely perplexed and horrified at the same time. But my ex who gets the money would not have to have it counted as income so would qualify before me, unbelievable!



My ex husband’s child support was waived in our divorce decree in lieu of splitting the cost for our son to travel for visitation. I am the custodial parent and have our son 80% of the time.

Because our divorce left me without any income and/or savings, I have had to re-start my career. My son and I are fortunate enough to live with my parents and I am optimistic that my salary will be back to what it was prior to my marriage by the end of 2017 from the business I started several months ago. As an independent contractor, I am able to have the flexibility to work from home and be with our young son.

However, right now I am barely making approximately $24,000 per year. When I submitted my application through last year, my son qualified for Medicaid. My ex husband is taking me to court this month because he believes that Medicaid will go after him for reimbursement. I was honest on my application with the amount of money I currently make and did not include his income as I do not receive any child or spousal support therefore his income doesn’t impact my ability to pay for Healthcare coverage for our son.

I went to complete the application for 2017 and am stuck on the Agreement Statements I am obligated to answer concerning my son’s Medicaid eligibility. If I don’t agree to them, then he does’t qualify for Medicaid OR any tax credits. If I do agree to them, I am concerned that Medicaid would go after my ex for payment. I don’t know what to do and have tried to get an answer from my local Medicaid office many times.

My hearing for this issue is scheduled for this Wednesday, November 9th. If the judge agrees with my ex husband and forces me to privately insure our son, I will struggle to be able to pay for a private policy with my current income. I don’t understand why I would be forced to pay for insurance when I can prove that, at this point, I cannot afford to pay for a full priced premium. What my ex husband makes in income does not help me or my child in any way. He only pays for HALF of the travel expenses. I am obligated to pay the other half as well as for all other costs concerning our son.

Can you please help me figure out what my options are at this point? I have spent countless answers searching for anything that will allow me to have my son covered by Medicaid until I am making enough money to afford a Marketplace plan.

Thank you


Hi, I have a child support question in regards to it’s now a federal to have health care and how that affects child support. A child support medical order requires the non-custodial parent to have the children enrolled in health care. But here in Michigan the health insurance premium is not a mandatory deduction required by state law so the deduction is included in his disposable wages. Because of this my husband’s check is $55.00 a week short, $220.00 a month we’re losing. So my question is, if health insurance coverage is now a federal law and he is also required by a court order to have health insurance for his children, why wouldn’t the insurance premium be a mandatory deduction and not be included in his disposable wages? This is how his disposable earnings are calculated for child support:

Gross 656.00
Pre-tax insurance 110.00
Fed 22.61
State 40.69
City 6.28
Disposable earns 450.47

Disposable earns 450.47
Pre-tax insurance 110.00 minus
New disposable 560.47

50% of disposable 280.24 child support
Net pay 280.24

Net pay 280.24
Pre-tax insurance 110.00 deducted again
Take home net 170.24

Call me crazy but the health insurance premium should be a mandatory deduction and not considered as part of disposable earnings, since he doesn’t have a choice, he has to have it per federal law and a court order.


Sorry guys I’m replying to my own question because I left out FICA taxes in the gross pay calculations. Anyway, the numbers aren’t the real issue, it’s how health insurance is not considered a mandatory deduction for child support and is deducted twice from the parent’s pay.


It is very SAD this OBAMA CARE .. when this act was being created everyone and every situation should have been addressed. A Single person paying child support should have been worked into the equations. WE are taking care of our children that don’t live with us because some judge decided THAT AND the president, who is married… seemed to have left out those of us who pay but can not deduct the children and can not afford to live. .. its all a MESS !!! GOD HELP US BECAUSE THE PRESIDENT ISN’T


I agree this is awful! My son who is 26 pays $400 a month in child support yet you want to adjust his income with no deductions! He can’t claim the child at tax time as she lives with her mom. He barely has enough to feed and put a roof over his head and now he is being forced to purchase this insurance that he can’t afford because you do not deduct what he pays for child support yet you do alimony! This does not make sense at all. This poor young father makes about $28K a year and is really trying and now he will be paying penalties until he qualifies next year for health insurance with his employer that is much more affordable. This is not affordable insurance at all for lower income people.


So then what would I use for subsidy calculation? I make $50 K on paper but she gets half of that in child support. So I live on $25K and the cheapest plan is $250 a month. I cannot afford that!!! So which one do I use as the adjusted? Makes no sense.


Child support counts toward your MAGI and therefore counts as income for premium tax credits. You would use the $50,000 you make on paper (assuming that is Modified Adjusted Gross Income After deductions). If it is an consolation, the person receiving the child support won’t have to claim it and can get cost assistance based on pre-child support dollars.


How does that help him ? How would that be any consolation? I hope that was satire. It would be fair if the person that actually spends the money that he never see’s had to claim it. He has to claim monies that he doesn’t even benefit from leaving him in an even bigger hole. Leaving many hard working men broke, miserable and unable to afford the “affordable healthcare”.


I completely understand where you are coming from! There are a lot of hard working men out there that keep a job and DO pay child support. In my situation I carry insurance for our daughter bc I need to make sure she is covered. When the premium is due.. I use my “imaginary”child support payment to cover it, as well as surviving after missing work to care for the sick child and the copay for the dr as well as the script, then looking non-dependable atwork. It’s sad though that a non custodial parent who indeed DOES pay their child support has to suffer by not being able to pay for this health insurance. Why make them live in hell.. When the non custodial parents that DONT pay.. Can afford the plan!!! It completely makes no sence. If you don’t pay your child support.. You shouldn’t even be allowed a health plan..Bc how on earth would you be able to pay you own.. If you can’t even pay your child’s!? Then the ones who DO pay child support might get a better rate! It’s sad how many get away with NOT paying.. But the ones who do suffer.


Also.. If the non custodial parent does not take the plan and chooses to pay the penalty…. Does any part of that fine go toward what wasn’t paid for his child’s insurance? Bc every year when he does taxes.. I don’t get a portion bc I am told that it went to back owed medical support! So I guess I pay the consequences for his lack of support. If I let him know that he needs to pay child support and ask why he’s behind, and said maybe it needs to be revised by a judge.. He said that he saves all of his receipts on what he spends on her (when he has her for a weekend) (not every-other weekend.. But just when convenient for him) hmmm receipts like.. Nail salon, Starbucks, trips out of town etc.! Yeah! Let’s compare those receipts to the month of child support that was due!! Of corse he can do the fun things!.. He can just buy her an iPhone and just not make a child support payment the next month!!! Then saying how it would probably be cheaper if we put her on our phone plan vs his!! Really! Imaginary child support can cover that as well!?

Good question. But good luck getting a valid answer! Your better off taking hours of your time researching bc the people who answer your question just read what the web script provided says anyways! You can either do your own research.. Or try to understand and comprehend what the person is saying.. As they repeat what is on the website as their answer to your question


I get what you are saying, it’s frustrating situation to be in. If you’ve taken hours to get your own answer, consider sharing it with the group rather venting frustration.

The reason we didn’t provide something more substantial is because we weren’t sure there was a good answer to someone who is paying out a lot of their net income in child support and struggling to afford health insurance. Assistance programs, including ACA related assistance programs, almost all counting net income (and thus disregard child support payments).

You insinuate that we are reading some script or just repeating information on the site, but neither of these things are the case. We instead are looking at the unique problem, agreeing it’s a problem, and failing to think of any sort of good advice on a personal level. Theoretically, we could say things like the two parents should share the tax burden on the money, or the money paid out from child support should be deducted from MAGI. Neither of these things are personal advice though. Personal advice is simply to see where your MAGI is and hope that with subsidies health insurance will be affordable. We welcome any comment that is civil, but the best would be everyone coming together to offer whatever real solutions they can. We haven’t hit that market completely yet, but it doesn’t mean the next person who finds this page won’t.

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