Have you purchased health coverage through the healthcare Marketplace?  Are you one of the millions of Americans who receive assistance paying for your premiums?  If you answered yes, that’s great news.  However, you may not be aware that it’s important to regularly update your Marketplace account.  If you receive the advanced premium tax credit, failure to notify the Marketplace after certain life changes could cost you when you file your federal taxes.


What changes should I update in my Marketplace account?

  • Income: Whether you get a raise, lose your old job, or get a new one.
  • Address: The costs and availability of plans featured in the healthcare Marketplace vary by location, cost of living, supply and demand of insurers, and local laws.
  • Family size: The number of family members insured greatly affects your monthly out-of-pocket costs.  Keep in mind, it’s often more economical to add dependents onto your policy rather than enroll everyone in separate plans.  This includes any child you birth or legally adopt.
  • Marital status: Being married means you could be eligible for coverage under your spouse’s policy. Individuals who file married filing separately cannot receive Obamacare subsidies.
  • Disability status: Disabled individuals often become eligible for Medicare and Medicaid.
  • Gain or loss of eligibility for an alternate health insurance plan:  This includes, but is not limited to spousal insurance, employer insurance, or Medicare/Medicaid.


What happens if I don’t update my account?

A qualifying life event could affect your subsidy amount or your eligibility for other discounts and special plans.  If you’re on the cusp of the federal poverty line, changes could cause you to gain or lose access to financial assistance.  Failure to report changes could cause you to miss out on savings or be expected to repay subsidies you received.  Remember, every premium tax credit has to be reconciled on your federal tax return.

For help reconciling with the IRS, you should contact a tax professional.  If you would like to see how potential life changes could affect your subsidy, try the Liberty Tax Obamacare subsidy calculator.  Our ACA Hotline is also open for questions, call 800-673-8600.


-- By Alice Robeson