Affordable Care Act: Estimating your income for 2014

What do I enter for annual income for a Medicaid application if i just started a job?

New Recruit

Dear New Recruit,

You are far from alone in this question.  People have to estimate their 2014 annual income to apply for subsidies to pay for health insurance.  The same application determines whether they qualify for Medicaid.  And many people will have trouble estimating their income for 2014.

In your case, your income is based upon working for someone else.  Take your current paycheck and multiply it by 26 if you get paid every other week, by 24 if you get paid twice a month, or by 52 if you get paid weekly. In other words, assume that your job will continue for the next 12 months. If you lose your job, you can contact the state agency and they will update your data. At that time, you may qualify for more benefits.

If you earn too much for Medicaid and get subsidies to buy health insurance, you would do the same thing: estimate your income based upon your current job, and notify the exchange if your work situation changes.  People who are self-employed or whose income goes up and down from month to month have a bigger challenge.  These people are better off to overestimate their income and take less subsidy than they could.  When they file their taxes, they will get whatever is owed them.

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Linda Riddell

About Linda Riddell

A published author and health policy analyst with 25 years’ experience, Linda Riddell's goal is to alleviate the widespread ailment of not knowing what your health plan can do for you.