Our finances changed but Affordable Care Act premium hasn’t
March 24, 2020 5:40 PM   Subscribe

My spouse has been out of work since last fall. We renewed our ACA plan for Jan 1 which is based on our 2019 earnings. Is it possible to change our rate (get a reduced rate, not change our plan) mid year based on our lower 2020 earnings so far, or is the only change possible for the 2021 rate based on our 2020 earnings? If we can’t change now is it possible we get some of the premium back in our tax return next year?
posted by ridogi to Work & Money (3 answers total)
Best answer: If you ended up earning less, you qualify for more subsidy, which you get as a tax credit/refund a year from now. I screwed up 2 years ago, and ended up paying for my insurance through ACA, and getting all my subsidy as a refund. But do call them; had a person provide really good assistance, more reliable than Internet strangers.
posted by theora55 at 6:00 PM on March 24, 2020

Best answer: A change in income should allow you to start getting the subsidy now (if you qualify) rather than having to wait until next year's tax refund. But I agree with theora55: the folks on the phone are actually pretty helpful in my experience. Give them a call and see what they say.
posted by number9dream at 6:05 PM on March 24, 2020

Best answer: If you renewed through healthcare.gov, you should have gone through the application answering questions based on your (expected) 2020 income. If you just auto-reenrolled, obviously they wouldn't have any new information so your premium wouldn't be adjusted to account for that.

You can go back in to healthcare.gov and "Report a Life Change", then update the numbers to reflect your current/anticipated 2020 income. The Marketplace will then pass your info on to your insurer and they will adjust your monthly bill.

Also, if your income for 2019 is lower than you had said it would be, you'll get a corresponding premium refund when you file taxes this spring (or whenever the deadline is now).

(While I am an internet stranger, this is my professional background.)
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:43 PM on March 24, 2020 [1 favorite]

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