Affordable Care Act: Subsidies offered to the self-employed

“My family has me, my husband, and our 13-year-old son.  When we apply for a subsidy, can we all apply or do you need to be employed in order to get it?   It looks like the whole family can apply, but I’m not sure.  My husband is a sole proprietor and that is our only income.”


Three of Us in Maryland

Dear Three of Us in Maryland,

You do not need to be employed to get a subsidy for purchasing your health insurance.  Your whole family would apply together, and list your husband’s income as your household income.  As long as your household income is less than $78,120 (which is 400% of Federal Poverty for a household of three people), then you will qualify to use the exchange, and get a subsidy.  Since your husband is self-employed, you may also qualify for a tax deduction.  Here is an IRS tip sheet on deducting health insurance premiums for self-employed people.

Maryland is running its own insurance exchange, so you may be able to enroll more easily than people in states using the federal exchange.  Go to Maryland Health Connection to enroll online.

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.