Let me emphasize that you are ESTIMATING your income for the year. Your past income and tax return can be used as a guide, but may not be an accurate predictor of your future MAGI. For example, if your spouse is set to collect Social Security retirement benefits in 2020, that income needs to be added to the MAGI.
Modified Adjusted Gross Income
Posts related to the Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) for eligibility for the Premium Tax Credit Subsidy through Covered California.
What is interesting is that these 2020 FPL income levels are higher than what Covered California posted in their program eligibility income chart at the start of the 2020 open enrollment period. Covered California listed the single adult Medi-Cal annual income level, 138% of FPL, at $17,237 and for a two-adult household at $23,226. The DHCS 2020 FPL income chart lists a higher amount of $17,609 for a single adult and $23,792 for two adults.
As many people enrolled in Covered California have found out, the folks at Covered California will not talk about taxes. Most consumers have also learned the dirty little secret about the federal and state subsidies for health insurance; it’s all about your tax return. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the California Franchises Tax Board (FTB) don’t care how you estimated your income to Covered California to become eligible for the monthly subsidies. They only care about the final income number (MAGI) that entitles you to a subsidy.
For the California Premium Subsidy, you will reconcile that subsidy amount with the Franchise Tax Board when you file your state income tax return. And this is where it gets complicated and a potential headache for tax prepares. If your income is between 200% and 400% of the FPL you potentially could be receiving 2 subsidies, one from the feds and one from the state. If you earn over 400% of the FPL you will only get a subsidy from California.
Basically, the redesigned 2018 form 1040 has made it more difficult to quickly locate all the necessary information for estimating a household’s MAGI. Virtually all of the dollar amounts were listed on the first page of the old form 1040. Now Covered California participants will have to review page 2 of the 1040 and Schedule 1 income and deductions to get most of the information for their estimated MAGI.
If you own a small business or receive income for a service you provide, and most likely file a schedule C with your tax return, you should consider having your estimated taxable income reviewed by your tax planner. The IRS has noted that as they develop guidance for all of the changes to the tax regulations for 2018 they will be posting them on their website.
Built into the Affordable Care Act is the loss of the health insurance subsidy when the household income exceeds 400% of the federal poverty line. For older adults whose income might be greater than 400% of the federal poverty line they face losing the Advance Premium Tax Credits that makes their health insurance premiums affordable. In some instances the health insurance premiums can shoot up to over 20% of their income.
Mr. Polk learned from his CPA on April 7th, 2015 that he owed $13,230.43 for the repayment of excess APTC for 2014. The CPA had properly taken the Covered California 1095-A and completed IRS form 8962 Premium Tax Reconciliation. It was clear on form 8962 that the addition of the Polk’s social security retirement income and tax-exempt interest had pushed the Polk household income over 400% of the federal poverty line.
Covered California provided some very important training to insurance agents on determining ACA MAGI for clients…twelve months late. The information offered on household income for tax credits should have been offered months ago before we started the first open enrollment. While the maxim of “better late than never” is apropos, content was at times needlessly […]
A key service agents provide to ACA health insurance eligible clients is assisting them to determine their Modified Adjusted Gross Income, MAGI. This unfortunately puts agents in the role of being income and tax experts. One of the biggest questions agents get is what qualifies as household income for the purpose of receiving the Advance […]