How to make updates when your income or household change

Reporting income and household changes: What you need to know

If you’re enrolled in a Marketplace plan for 2016 and your income or household change, you should report the changes as soon as possible.

These changes — like higher or lower income, adding or losing household members, or getting offers of other health coverage — may affect the coverage or savings you’re eligible for.

Why it’s crucial to report changes immediately

  • If your income goes up or you lose a member of your household: You may qualify for less savings than you’re getting now. If you don’t report the change, you could wind up having to pay money back when you file your federal tax return for the year.
  • If your income goes down or you gain a household member:
    • You could qualify for more savings than you’re getting now. This could lower what you pay in monthly premiums.
    • You could also qualify for Medicaid or CHIP coverage and could continue to pay more for a Marketplace plan by not reporting the change. Note: If you’re not enrolled in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Program (CHIP), and got a notice that you may lose financial help for your Marketplace coverage because of enrollment in one the of these programs, report a change so that your advance payments of the premium tax credit and any savings on out-of-pocket costs don’t end.

Want a better idea of how your savings may change? Use this tool from the IRS to estimate how your premium tax credit will change if your income or family size change.

If you need to cancel your plan

Sometimes you experience a change — like starting Medicare coverage or getting a job-based plan — that requires you to cancel your Marketplace plan altogether. Or you may just want to cancel for another reason. Note: You can cancel coverage for just some people or for everyone.

If you want to cancel your plan without replacing it, keep in mind:

  • You may have to pay a penalty for the months you don’t have health insurance, and for 2016, the fee is higher than ever.
  • Nobody plans to get sick or hurt, but bad things happen — even to healthy people — and having medical debt can really limit your options.

Learn how to cancel your plan.