Some Young Adults Fall Into Federal Subsidy Gap, Study Finds
Some young adults who thought they would be able to receive subsidized health insurance under the Affordable Care Act are finding they do not actually qualify for subsidies, according to a HealthPocket study, WHYY/Kaiser Health News reports.
The ACA stipulates the subsidies are intended for people with annual incomes of about $11,000 to $46,000. However, subsidies are calculated using a complex formula based on the cost of a plan's premium, and are only available when a baseline plan's premium exceeds a specific percentage of an individual's income. Therefore, the higher a person's income, the more costly a premium must be before the person qualifies for the subsidies.
For the study, HealthPocket looked at plans offered through exchanges in eight major cities. The study found that, on average, a young adult living in one of the eight cities would not qualify for federal subsidies once his or her annual income surpassed $31,744.
Although the gap might mean that there are low-cost coverage options available in those cities, the premium costs -- which could be as much as $250 to $350 per month -- still might be prohibitive for some young adults, according to Kev Coleman of HealthPocket. Coleman said that the study's findings might explain the lower exchange enrollment among young adults (Gordon, WHYY/Kaiser Health News, 3/18).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.