ACA Subsidy Repayment: Understanding the Rules

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) offers health insurance subsidies to low- and moderate-income individuals and families. These subsidies help make health insurance more affordable for those who qualify. However, there are certain income thresholds that must be met in order to receive these subsidies.

Income Thresholds and Subsidy Repayment

If your income falls below the poverty level ($12,880 for an individual in 2023), you are not eligible for ACA subsidies. However, if your income falls below this threshold after you have received subsidies, you will not be required to repay them.

Estimating Income

When you sign up for ACA coverage, you are required to estimate your income for the upcoming year. If your income is significantly lower than your estimate, you may end up receiving more subsidies than you are actually eligible for.

If this happens, you will not be penalized for receiving excess subsidies if you meet the following criteria:

You made a reasonable effort to estimate your income
Your income dropped below the poverty level due to circumstances beyond your control (e.g., job loss, disability)

How to Protect Yourself from Repayment

To avoid any potential issues with subsidy repayment, it’s important to take the following steps:

Estimate your income carefully: Use the most accurate information available to you to estimate your income for the upcoming year.
Report changes in income: If your income drops significantly during the year, notify the Health Insurance Marketplace as soon as possible.
Document your circumstances: If your income drops due to circumstances beyond your control, keep documentation to support your claim.


Understanding the rules around ACA subsidy repayment is important to ensure that you are not penalized if your income changes. By following the steps outlined above, you can help protect yourself from any potential repayment obligations.

If you have any questions or concerns about ACA subsidies or repayment, contact our licensed agent for assistance.

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