≡ Menu

What if I just can’t afford health insurance?

This question comes from Mary:

Q. I have two part-time jobs with no health insurance, and my husband is unemployed. There is no way we can afford health insurance. Will they just look at my salary or would they take into consideration that I’m supporting him and also that I just can’t afford health insurance?

A. You might qualify for tax credits, which are available for individuals and families who aren’t able to get affordable health insurance and who meet specific income requirements.

Eligibility for tax credits is based on the federal poverty level, which takes into account the size of your family and how much money you’re earning.

The amount of the tax credit is on a sliding scale basis, so you’ll have to see how that translates for your specific financial situation. Generally speaking, those who make between 138 — 400% of the federal poverty level — for a single person, up to $44,680, and for a family of four up to $92,200 — may be eligible for subsidies and tax credits.

Something that may also be helpful in your situation is that in addition to the four levels of coverage you’ve heard about (Bronze, Silver, Gold & Platinum) there is also a catastrophic plan available to people 30 or younger, or showing financial hardship. This coverage provides catastrophic care as defined by current law (i.e. before the Affordable Care Act), with the big exception being that it includes free prevention benefits and it covers for three free primary care visits.

You should check out the Health Insurance Exchange for your state when they open on October 1, and you’ll be able to find out a lot more information that relates to your specific situation.