Obamacare: options for young couple in New York

How much would cost me insurance plan for two people — me and my husband?  We are both age 20, living in New York.

NY State of Mind

Dear NY State of Mind,

Your cost for health insurance in New York depends upon your household income and where you live.  Let’s start with income.  If you and your husband earn less than  $21,967 per year (138% of Federal Poverty), then you can join Medicaid.  Medicaid would cost you nothing per month.  You would apply for Medicaid at NY State of Health, which is also the state’s health insurance exchange.

That’s the same website you will use to apply for subsidized health insurance.  You would qualify for subsidized health insurance if you earn more than $21,967 (138%) but less than $62,920 (400%).  As for how much it will cost you, there are eight different “rating regions” in New York; each region has separate health insurance rates.  You will pay a certain percentage of your income (a sliding scale depending upon what percentage of Federal Poverty) toward your health insurance for the “benchmark” plan.  This is the second lowest cost Silver plan.  If you want a more expensive plan, you pay the whole difference.

To give you a better idea, let me give you an example.  If you and your husband together earn $31,460 per year, you would spend 6.3% of your income to join the benchmark plan.  This would be roughly $165 per month.  You can use one of the online subsidy calculators, but these do not give you a good estimate of what insurance costs in your state.

If I were you, I’d go to the NY State of Health and get an application started.  You will see the actual plans offered to you, and the costs.

Good luck!


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.