The following information is brought to you by: Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF)
The majority of enrollees who purchase health coverage through Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges receive premium tax credits to help them afford their monthly premiums. To a large extent, subsidized enrollees are shielded from premium increases because their subsidies rise along with premiums. On the other hand, middle-income people with incomes above 400% of the Federal Poverty Line (“FPL”, equal to $48,560 for an individual and $100,400 for a family of four in 2019) are not eligible for subsidies and may struggle to afford ACA-compliant plans.
Marketplace enrollment among subsidized enrollees rose from 8.7 million in 2015 to 9.2 million in 2018. However, premiums increased significantly, and the number of unsubsidized enrollees in ACA-compliant plans has fallen over this same period from 6.4 million to 3.9 million. Unlike subsidized enrollees, those with incomes over 400% of poverty have to bear the full cost of premium increases if they buy an ACA-compliant plan.1
While premiums for ACA Marketplace plans are holding steady or falling slightly on average in 2019, whether ACA plan premiums are actually affordable for an individual depends on where they live, how old they are, and how much money they make. We analyzed 2019 premiums data to show how affordable the lowest-cost ACA Marketplace plan is in each county, by age and income, with a focus on middle-class people whose incomes are too high to qualify for subsidies.