Help Paying Marketplace Premiums: Defining Income and Household

I lost my job due to the COVID-19 pandemic and now I get unemployment benefits. Do those count as income in determining my eligibility for premium tax credits?

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Yes.  Unemployment insurance generally is included in your gross income and is taken into account in determining eligibility for premium tax credits.  Recently, the CARES Act provided for an emergency, temporary increase in unemployment benefits of $600 per week, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

When applying for premium tax credits in the Marketplace, be sure to include information about your unemployment benefits, including the emergency $600 per week increase.

Note, however, that if you are applying for Medicaid or CHIP, the emergency $600 per week increase in unemployment benefits will NOT be counted as income in determining your eligibility for those programs.

While we have made every effort to provide accurate information in these FAQs, people should contact the health insurance Marketplace or Medicaid agency in their state for guidance on their specific circumstances.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.