What income and household information do I provide when I apply for Marketplace coverage?

If you want to find out if you qualify for lower costs on Marketplace coverage, you’ll need to provide information about your household members and income.

The Marketplace application includes detailed instructions. It makes calculations using the information you provide to determine whether you’re eligible for lower costs.

The information on this page can help you prepare before you apply.

Important. Marketplace Open Enrollment ended March 31. You can still buy a Marketplace health plan only if you qualify for a special enrollment period. You can apply for Medicaid and CHIP any time. Learn about special enrollment periods and other coverage options after Open Enrollment. Open Enrollment for 2015 coverage starts November 15, 2014.

Reporting on your household

When filling out your application, do include:

  • Yourself
  • Your spouse
  • Your children who live with you, even if they make enough money to file a tax return themselves
  • Your unmarried partner who needs health coverage
  • Anyone you include on your tax return as a dependent, even if they don’t live with you
  • Anyone else under 21 who you take care of and lives with you

When filling out your application, don't include:

  • Your unmarried partner who doesn’t need health coverage and is not your dependent
  • Your unmarried partner’s children, if they are not your dependents
  • Your parents who live with you, but file their own tax return and are not your dependents
  • Other relatives who file their own tax return and are not your dependents

To learn about who qualifies as a dependent, refer to IRS Publication 501.

Estimating your income

When you apply for lower costs in the Marketplace, you’ll need to estimate your income for 2014.

You can start by adding up the following items for:

  • You and your spouse, if you are married and will file a joint tax return
  • Any dependents who make enough money to be required to file a tax return

For each of the following sources, estimate what your income will be in 2014:

  • Wages
  • Salaries
  • Tips
  • Net income from any self-employment or business (generally the amount of money you take in from your business minus your business expenses)
  • Unemployment compensation
  • Social Security payments, including disability payments -- but not Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Alimony

Other items to include when estimating your 2014 income are: retirement income, investment income, pension income, rental income, and other taxable income such as prizes, awards, and gambling winnings.

Don't include the following:

  • Child support
  • Gifts
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Veterans’ disability payments
  • Workers’ compensation
  • Proceeds from loans (like student loans, home equity loans, or bank loans)

For more information on reporting your income, see IRS Publication 525.

Modified adjusted gross income and household income

When you fill out the Marketplace application, your estimated household income will be calculated using the information you provide. Your household income determines your eligibility for lower costs on Marketplace coverage.

Your household income is your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) (joint MAGI if you’re married), plus the MAGI of your dependents who make enough money to have to file a tax return.

MAGI is generally your adjusted gross income plus any tax-exempt Social Security benefits (except for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is not counted), tax-exempt interest, and tax-exempt foreign income.

You don’t have to figure out your household income or MAGI yourself when you fill out your application. It will be done for you with the income information you include on the application.