Maximize Your ACA Savings: How Contributions to Solo 401k Can Help Lower Premiums

What is ACA Health Insurance?

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, is a comprehensive health care reform law enacted in 2010. One of the key provisions of the ACA is the creation of health insurance marketplaces, where individuals and families can shop for and purchase affordable health insurance plans.

Understanding MAGI and ACA Subsidies

The ACA provides subsidies to help low- and moderate-income individuals and families afford health insurance. These subsidies are based on your Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI), which is your income before certain deductions and exemptions are applied. Contributions to traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs are not considered in the calculation of MAGI, meaning they do not affect your eligibility for ACA subsidies.

Solo 401k Contributions and MAGI

Unlike IRAs, contributions to solo 401k plans do lower your MAGI. This means that by contributing to a solo 401k, you can potentially reduce your income for ACA purposes and qualify for larger subsidies on your health insurance plan.

Weighing the Options: Roth IRA vs. Solo 401k

Withdrawals from Roth IRAs are tax-free in retirement, while withdrawals from traditional 401k plans are taxed as ordinary income. Therefore, withdrawing funds from a Roth IRA to contribute to a solo 401k may not be the most advantageous strategy in the long run.

For individuals with limited income and who are eligible for significant ACA subsidies, contributing to a solo 401k to lower their MAGI can be a more beneficial option. This is because the savings on health insurance premiums can outweigh the potential tax benefits of a Roth IRA withdrawal.

Alternative Strategies

If you are considering withdrawing funds from a Roth IRA, there are alternative strategies you can explore:

Take a loan from your solo 401k: This allows you to access funds without withdrawing them, preserving your retirement savings and tax benefits.
Consider an IRA: Contributions to traditional IRAs can be deducted from your taxable income, reducing your tax liability in the current year.
Seek professional advice: A qualified financial advisor can help you assess your situation and determine the best course of action.


Maximizing your ACA savings through contributions to a solo 401k can be a valuable strategy for individuals with limited income. By lowering your MAGI, you can increase your eligibility for subsidies and potentially reduce your health insurance premiums. However, it’s important to weigh the potential benefits against the drawbacks before withdrawing funds from a Roth IRA. If you are unsure about the best course of action, it is recommended to seek professional guidance.

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