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Study: Subsidy eligibility limits may explain low enrollment

For young adults to receive financial assistance to purchase insurance benefits, many can’t be earning more than $32,000 per year, according to a new study published by coverage plan information company HealthPocket.

The researchers – Kev Coleman and Jesse Geneson – arrived at this number after analyzing eight different metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) to see what the average income levels were for people between the ages of 18 and 34 and whether they made enough to trigger a subsidy.They discovered those who successfully applied for financial assistance in these eight MSAs earned less than $31,744, or about 277 percent of the federal poverty level. Under the Affordable Care Act’s provisions, subsidies should be available for people making between 100 percent or 400 percent of the federal poverty level. In other words, people making as much as $45,960 should still be eligible.

Coleman indicated this may help explain why fewer young adults have enrolled for coverage through the exchanges, realizing that they don’t qualify. HHS recently revealed roughly 1 in 4 people who signed up in February were young adults.

HHS maintains a website that breaks down how the ACA affects Americans throughout the country, such as how many people are eligible for coverage based on age, ethnicity and employment status. For instance, in Wisconsin, an estimated 456,800 people may qualify for tax credits under the health reform law.

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Erin Woulfe
Erin Woulfe
Erin Woulfe likes to write about things that matter. Keeping her finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the public sector world, she blogs about the latest legislative news and employee benefit trends that affect our school, city and county clients. She’s been with NIS since 2002. “I love connecting to our clients and providing them with the tools they need in order to administrate their plan,” says Erin. “Whether that be materials to educate their employees on certain benefits, how to effectively communicate change within an organization or just providing tips and how-to’s to help them make their job easier.”

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