Obamacare: domestic partner can go to exchange, but no subsidies


I’m 51, live in Nevada, and am currently covered through my partners insurance under the domestic partner benefits. The cost for covering me is very expensive. Since we are not married am I still able to secure Obamacare for myself even if I am able to receive domestic partner benefits through my partner? I would not keep both.


Dear Jim,

According to Nevada Health Link’s spokesperson,“If the main partner has affordable minimum essential coverage offered to them by their employer AND the employer offers domestic partner coverage, the partner is NOT eligible for subsidies.” So, as long as your partner’s group plan meets health reform minimum standards and costs less than 9.5% of his income to cover himself, your coverage as a domestic partner prevents you from getting subsidies.

The law is designed to avoid luring people out of group plans (generally subsidized by the employer) and into exchange plans (subsidized by the government).  It’s called “crowd out”.

This does not mean that you should not explore your options on the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange.  Even without subsidies, you may be able to find a cheaper plan.  It’s worth looking into, if only to confirm that you are doing the best you can for the price you are paying.

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.