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What is counted as income in determining eligibility for health insurance subsidies?

Eligibility for subsidies is based on modified adjusted gross income (MAGI). This includes the adjusted gross income from your income tax (which covers salary/wages, interest, unemployment benefits, and so on) as well as tax-exempt social security benefits, interest, and foreign income. It can be difficult knowing what exactly does and does not count towards one’s MAGI, so below we have listed some common things that do or do not impact subsidy eligibility.

Counts toward subsidy eligibility:

  • Adjusted gross income
  • All social security benefits, regardless of whether you pay taxes on them
  • Tax-exempt interest
  • Foreign income excluded from AGI for tax purposes
  • Income from a dependent’s part-time job exceeding a certain amount ($12,000 in 2018)*

Does not count toward subsidy eligibility:

  • Cash inheritances
  • Child support payments
  • Scholarships and fellowship payments for tuition and other course-related expenses
  • Worker's compensation benefits
  • Income from a dependent’s part-time job up to a certain amount ($12,000 in 2018)*
  • Supplemental security income (SSI)
  • Assets such as one’s car, house, and retirement savings

*This assumes that the dependent is claimed as such on your taxes. Children who are listed on your health plan but are not claimed as dependents on taxes will have their income and eligibility for subsidies calculated separately.

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