What is the maximum income for ObamaCare?


For 2020 coverage, those making between $12,490-$49,960 as an individual, or $25,750-$103,000 as a family of 4, qualify for ObamaCare. For 2021, those making between $12,760-$51,040 as an individual, or $26,200-$104,800 as a family of 4, qualify.

For 2022 coverage, see our page on the maximum income for ObamaCare for 2021 - 2022.

Minimum and maximum income for ObamaCare cost assistance are based on the Federal Poverty Level for the previous year. The Income that is counted is Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI). See the Federal Poverty Guidelines for more details.

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Billy on

What if someone lied about having affordable insurance from work to get subsidies? Would they still be subject to the repayment caps or have to pay back everything? Even if they are low income?

ObamaCareFacts.com on

That is a very interesting question. The way the rules are written they would be subject to the repayment cap, but they would also be in danger getting in trouble for tax fraud if somehow it was proven they knowingly lied. This is probably a question for a lawyer though.

william on

what is maximum income for a family of 2

ObamaCareFacts.com on

Our page on the Federal Poverty Guideline will always show you all the levels for each year. Family of two max is $68,960. Learn more https://obamacarefacts.com/federal-poverty-level/

Karen on

Six years ago our private insurance BCBS dropped us at the time Obama was saying “if you like your insurance you can keep it”. We had to go with Obamacare and since then have paid $800 per month for two of us. We are both self employed so our income varies. We just got a call from our accountant and he said that we made too much last year (2019) and we have to pay back $17,000 to the government due to not qualifying for Obamacare. If that is correct that means the mediocre insurance plan we have had was supposedly costing $17,000 plus $9600.00 for a total of $26,600 per year? Is that possible? How is that affordable?

Kimberly Raiser on

I need the income level for a family of 2. I remember seeing earlier this year that the maximum had gone up to 72,000 but can nowhere find that information now. I even called healthcare.gov and they could not give me an answer.

ObamaCareFacts.com on

You can get this information from the Federal Poverty Guidelines essentially (and a little knowledge about the ACA). If you use our site we give you the exact numbers.You can also find more detailed information on the 8962 tax for instructions every year. https://obamacarefacts.com/federal-poverty-level/

Family of 2 for 2020 is between $17,240 – $68,960 (although if you are the low end you may qualify for Medicaid depending on your state).

James on

After reviewing affordable health care act coverage and rates. This is not affordable for poverty level individuals or families.

ObamaCareFacts.com on

If you are below the poverty level your coverage is free through Medicaid under the ACA unless you live in a state that did not expand Medicaid. Even at 100% – 200% of the poverty level rates can be fairly cheap, somewhere in the $20 – $30 range and out-of-pocket assistance does a lot to lower costs. It is a detailed conversation, but I think there is a strong argument for affordability at lower incomes based purely on the impact of Medicaid and marketplace assistance. The big issue is in states that didn’t expand Medicaid.

Rhonda Heineman on

When calculating income for subsidies, what is included in income limits? For retiree, along with Social Security and IRA distributions, are LTCG or proceeds from stock sale included to determine income limit?

ObamaCareFacts.com on

Yes, capital gains are included in MAGI income (the type of income the ACA counts). https://obamacarefacts.com/modified-adjusted-gross-income-magi/

Sharon S Proulx on

I have one question would a couple (2) be eligible if income is 86000.00?

ObamaCareFacts.com on

No, the income is too high unless you have deductions which could make it lower. If Biden puts in place his policy as intended the income limit will be raised, but as it stands now no. You can get more details on income limits here https://obamacarefacts.com/federal-poverty-level/

Gary Broderson on

I would like information about what the income guidelines are for husband and spouse annual income limits

ObamaCareFacts.com on

The full guidelines can be found here https://obamacarefacts.com/federal-poverty-level/

Bill bryan on

I only make $13,000/year w one dependent and don’t seem to qualify for any subsidy. Why? Am I over or below the income limit/floor?

ObamaCareFacts.com on

You do qualify for asssistance. If your state expanded Medicaid you qualify for free coverage via Medicaid, which the marketplace can direct you toward or even offer. If your state did not expand, you qualify for near the max amount of assistance. 100% of the poverty level is $12,760, you make just above that, so you qualify. Check again or call!

Andy Goffeld on

I made money in the stock market this year and might be in danger of exceeding $49,960. What are the consequences? If I do end up going over the $49,960 this year, will I still be eligible next year when I don’t suspect I will go over the limit?

ObamaCareFacts.com on

What happens this year doesn’t impact next year, but for this year if you go over the limit due to capital gains income you could end up owing back some or all tax credits you got in advance.


Donna M Ames on

In 2020 I had total income of $30,742 with taxable income of $18,342. I file as an individual with no dependents. I dropped Obamacare at the beginning of June, 2020, when I realized that the extra $600 per week I was receiving from unemployment would push my income beyond the point where I would qualify for any subsidy, but I did have Obamacare (100% subsidized) for the first five months of the year. Now I am wondering how much of that five months worth of subsidy I am going to have to pay back.

ObamaCareFacts.com on

If you ended up making too much at the end of the year after deductions to get any tax credit, then at tax time you’ll owe back the amount you borrowed. Even at $600 a week extra for 7 months you still might not have fully gone over the $49,960 limit after deductions. So keep in mind you’ll only owe back the full amount if at tax time you went over after deductions.

You can see more on the repayment rules below.

Repayment rules: https://obamacarefacts.com/advanced-tax-credit-repayment-limits/

Federal Poverty level: https://obamacarefacts.com/federal-poverty-level/

Cheryl on

Is the amount for a single person to qualify Adjusted Gross Income or Gross Income?

ObamaCareFacts.com on

The minimum income for an individual is $12,760. In some states that will qualify you for Medicaid, in others just marketplace coverage. That said, it is technically MAGI, and not AGI, but they are very similar figures.


John Byrd on

For a couple the income ceiling is about $65,000 and still be able to get a subsidized plan. What is included in that $65,000? Is it AGI, i.e. after IRA, HSA deductions? Does it include interest and capital gains?

ObamaCareFacts.com on

It does include capital gains. Capital gains are taxed at a different rate but still including in AGI/MAGI. They are therefore counted toward subsidies. Likewise, anything that is taxable is generally included toward AGI as a rule of thumb and counted. So whether we are talking interest, IRAs, HSA withdrawals, etc the rule is if it is taxed, then in most cases, it is counted. On the other hand, deductions, such as contributing to a 401k or non-taxable spending such as from an HSA is not counted.

So hopefully you can apply that logic to your specifics and get a solid answer.

Mary on

I’m turning 65 in June 2021…I have marketplace insurance now….do I have to still have to keep your income low enough after the 5 months for not having to pay insurance…after I go on Medicare

ObamaCareFacts.com on

The short answer to this is yes. Your tax credits are based on annual income, so if your income goes up in those last months of the year they still impact your total annual income and can impact tax credits.

You may find that having to pay back tax credits is worth the income increase, but that is the deal.

It is worth considering repayment limits when making this decision. https://obamacarefacts.com/advanced-tax-credit-repayment-limits/

Bob Bender on

Do the above limits above apply for 2021 if I turn 65 on 3/31/21 & get Medicare coverage ???

ObamaCareFacts.com on

Yes, the annual limits still apply in the year you get Medicare. Everything works the same, but you only take the credits for the months until you switch to Medicare. Make sure to coordinate the switch with HealthCare.Gov or your state marketplace so they can help you to ensure your plan is canceled on time.

You can learn more here https://medicarepolicyhelper.com/questions/if-i-have-marketplace-coverage-do-i-have-to-switch-to-medicare/

Jack Bay on

When I signed up this year, the max income for 2 people was listed as $72,000 but the official number is still listed at $68,960 (2020 limit). Any information on where I can find updated 2021 data and verification of the $72k limit? Thanks for answering all the questions.

p.s. I wish everyone would call the exchange by its official ACA name instead of Obamacare

ObamaCareFacts.com on

400% of the poverty level for 2021 coverage is $68,960. I am unaware of anyone quoting higher limits, as going over the max by even $1 can trigger a fee. With that said, perhaps there is a buffer added in that I am unaware of? Did you sign up at HealthCare.gov?

Yolanda Barnett on

Have had Obamacare for 2 years no problem. For 2020 my income went up $2,000 to $50,751.63. Premiums Tax Credit Col. A total is $4844.58, Col. B is $7037.76 and Col. C is 4668.00. Marketplace is telling me something about having to add up the 2 columns!!!
As it stands right now I may owe almost $5000 to the IRS…..Marketplace cannot tell me what the cap for income was for 2020.

ObamaCareFacts.com on

The income cap for 2020 coverage is based on the 2019 federal poverty level. https://obamacarefacts.com/the-2019-federal-poverty-guidelines/

This information is in the instructions for calculating credits as well.

If you go over the 400% limit you owe back all credits, so this could be what is happening. Remember this is based on your total MAGI, so don’t forget about deductions if you are just doing your taxes now.

Sergio Esteves on

Thank you so much for capturing all this info. Would like to confirm that a $17,600 income for our 2020 tax return will be valid for a family of 2 without us having to repay anything back?

Thank you!

ObamaCareFacts.com on

I need a bit more info to confirm you’ll pay literally nothing, but here is how the logic works.

For 2020 coverage I look a the 2019 Federal Poverty Level https://obamacarefacts.com/the-2019-federal-poverty-guidelines/

I see your income puts you below 138% of the poverty level.

I look at the tax repayment limits https://obamacarefacts.com/advanced-tax-credit-repayment-limits/

I see you can owe no more than $650, but may owe less for 2020.

For me to know if you owe $650 or less I have to know how many credits you took and at what rate. 🙂

TIP: In most states, you qualified for Medicaid and could have been getting free or low-cost coverage. So that is something to think about for next year.

Mark Elder on

from where is the income level taken from on your 1040, is it the AGI or total income

ObamaCareFacts.com on

It is a modified version of AGI called MAGI. Very similar to AGI, in that it is income after tax deductions. https://obamacarefacts.com/modified-adjusted-gross-income-magi/

Sergio Gonzalez on

what is minimum income for a family of 2?

ObamaCareFacts.com on

You can always find the levels here: https://obamacarefacts.com/federal-poverty-level/

Depends on the year, but for 2021 coverage it is $17,420.

Kim Hale on

I can not get marketplace insurance because they consider me making to much money. My husband is on medicare and has a supplement, I am the only one that needs the insurance so with what we make together it is to much for me to get insurance. What can I do.

ObamaCareFacts.com on

Until or unless there are changes to the maximum threshold, options include unsubsidized marketplace coverage and short-term coverage (some short-term plans can last for a full year). You can also look into a high deductible plan with an HSA and use the HSA to save on taxable income and the high deductible plan to save on premiums. Hopefully one of those options gives you a good idea!

Anna M. Jetton on

I am single and just moving to the state of Georgia. I will receive $23,456.00 from my ex-husband (as a divorce settlement) as my percentage of his pension plan. I also have begun to draw Social Security Income that will be $15,852 for the year of 2021. I am 64 years old and do not work. I turn 65 December 13, 2021. I was told due to the nature of the ex-spousal money it would not count as earned income against my Social Security Income. Do I qualify for Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance for subsidized medical insurance assistance in the state of Georgia? Thank you for any information you can provide for me.

ObamaCareFacts.com on

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is excluded, taxable lump sum is included (if it is not taxable, then it isn’t). You may have an issue of not making enough to qualify for ACA assistance, but you should not have an issue of making too much. The simplest way to find out would be to go to healthcare.gov. Enrollment is still on until May 15th. That should get you through until you qualify for Medicare in December.

snooky911 on

If I sponsor my parents to get a green card and move to US, will they be eligible to get Obama Care? Will my income count towards their income in that scenario? I know there are some rules around “deemed income”, but I don’t know if that applies to Obama Care. Thank you!

Barbara Freymann on

I get a non-taxable income for caregiver services. I take care of my special needs brother in my home. When I apply for Obamacare for 2022, can I include this amount for benefits on premiums? I was told no and apply for Medicaid. I have to tell Medicaid of all income which will put me above the allowed limit? So, I am in a hole for getting any type of health insurance?
Is Obamacare strictly based on what I will claim on my Tax report? if so, I only have one other amount from my x husbands’ retirement. This amount for the year is $8,000.

ObamaCareFacts.com on

It is based on taxable income and likely would be applying for Medicaid yes.

Dooke DiConti on

I just recently relocated to Cheney, WA, and I have no job; I’d like obtain only major medical insurance, but need I dental asap, as I’m in pain now. Where I get access to help…I’ve been hung up on four times by people reading scripts that don’t know answers to questions and don’t care to find answers.

ObamaCareFacts.com on

Well once your dental plan starts you still have to pay out of pocket. You can get dental care with most dentists and do dental finances with some offices. You can also look into other dental financing options. Often schools will offer lower rates. There are lots of options, but no one simple solution that I know of for immediate free dental. Could look up emergency dentists as well. Ultimately though I’m going to simply post the best resource I know on this https://www.hhs.gov/answers/health-insurance-reform/where-can-i-find-low-cost-dental-care/index.html

Jim Crawford on

When you say max income do you mean gross or net. Let’s say a couple filing jointly had income of $68,961. Their gross would be $1 above the max you listed below but AGI after the $25,100 standard deduction would be $43,861 (well below the maximum).

Which number would the IRS / Affordable Healthcare folks use?

ObamaCareFacts.com on

The maximum income is MAGI income https://obamacarefacts.com/modified-adjusted-gross-income-magi/. So basically AGI. It would therefore be below the maximum.

Karen Linafelter on

how do I figure out how much I may need to pay back if our income goes over the cap for affordable care act credits

ObamaCareFacts.com on
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