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Affordable Care Act: Determining eligibility for subsidies

PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Open enrollment starts Oct. 1 for the Affordable Care Act and it has many people asking how the new legislation will impact them. Let's look at how the government is helping.

If you sign up at www.healthcare.gov next week, there is a very good chance you will be eligible for a subsidy.

You know how in job-based health insurance, your employer usually pays part of the premium and you pay the rest.

Well that's essentially what the federal government is going to do for the uninsured. They are going to pay part of your monthly premium and you'll pay the rest.

A video tutorial on the Department of Health and Human Services website (www.hhs.gov) can walk you through the application process to determine your subsidy. You apply at www.healthcare.gov. At the end of the application process, you will know if you are getting one and how much it is.

The subsidy is not a check to you, it's money given directly to the insurance company, and it automatically reduces the premium that you pay the insurer every month.

Your subsidy is based on your income and household size.

Cheryl O'Donnell from outreach agency Get Covered America says the most important thing to remember about subsides is that most people will get one.

"Anyone earning between 138 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level will get these credits. And I know those numbers don't make sense to anybody, but if you're actually looking at a family of four, that family of four can actually earn up to $92,000 a year and still be eligible for tax subsidies," O'Donnell said.

What about other households?

*A family of three would be eligible for a subsidy if their household income was $78,000 or less.
*A married couple would be eligible for a subsidy if their household income was less than $62,000.
*And if you're single and make less than $46,000, you too will most likely be eligible.

If you have a specific question about your eligibility for a subsidy, visit cbs5az.com/healthcare or send your question to me at my Facebook page at facebook.com/DaveCherryCBS5.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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