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My income is uneven during the year. Some months I don’t earn anything, other months are better. I’m pretty sure my income for the coming year will be less than 400% of the FPL so I’d like to apply for premium subsidies. But what if I’m wrong and my income ends up being more than 400% FPL?

It’s common for income to fluctuate, particularly if you are self-employed, perform seasonal work or have multiple jobs. To achieve the most accurate premium tax credit amount, you should report income changes to the health insurance Marketplace during the year, as they happen. Otherwise, if you claim a premium tax credit during the year and your actual income for the entire year edges over 400% FPL, you will need to pay back the full credit amount. To avoid this result, if you estimate your annual income will be close to 400% FPL, you could also consider waiting until you file your taxes to take all or a portion of the premium tax credit on your tax return instead of receiving advance payments.

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