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Home Knowledge CenterHealth Insurance Subsidy: Financial Aid for Health Care

Health Insurance Subsidy: Financial Aid for Health Care

Find out more about tax credits and cost-sharing reductions.

Getting federal financial assistance, also known as federal aid, depends on your household size and income. If you qualify, you may be able to get a health plan at a lower cost. These are qualified health plans that come with financial help from the federal government. Here are some key things to know about federal aid:

Are you eligible for health insurance subsidy?

Depending on your household size and income, you may qualify for this assistance.

  • People age 18 and older, even students, who file their own federal taxes, may be able to get both types of aid.
  • People who don’t have a job and don't have COBRA coverage may also be able to get one or both types of aid.
  • Native Americans and Alaskan natives may also be able to get help with their Marketplace or Tribal health plan.

Two Types of Financial Assistance

There are two ways you may be able to help save money on your health care plan costs. One way is by getting a premium tax credit. The other is by getting a cost-sharing reduction (CSR). Premium tax credits and cost sharing reductions are types of federal financial assistance1 given to people who qualify in order to help make health insurance more affordable.

Premium Tax Credits Lower Your Health Care Premiums

Premium tax credits lower the amount you pay monthly for your health care plan. If you qualify, you have two choices for the way you use this aid. After you sign up for your qualified health plan, you can have the federal government pay the tax credit right to the insurance carrier each month. This lowers the monthly premium amount you pay. Your other choice is to get a tax credit when you file your federal income taxes. This means you pay the full amount of your insurance premium each month. Then, you get the total credit after you file your taxes. You can use the premium tax credit toward any qualified health plan on the Marketplace.

Cost-Sharing Reductions Lower Your Other Costs

Cost-sharing reductions lower the amount you have to pay out of pocket when you get care, costs like deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance. To take advantage of these savings, you must qualify and enroll in a Marketplace Silver qualified health plan. There is no option to get cost-sharing reductions by filing a year-end tax return. If you qualify for this type of aid, you pay less out of pocket for things like deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance when you get care.

Federal Health Care Aid at a Glance

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Find Out If You Can Get Federal Aid

You may qualify for both a premium tax credit and a cost-sharing reduction. During the Open Enrollment Period, you can find out what you’re eligible for when you apply online through Cigna or on the Marketplace and get your results.


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Plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company or its affiliates: For Arizona residents, health plans are offered by Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc. For Georgia residents, health plans are offered by Cigna HealthCare of Georgia, Inc. For Illinois residents, health plans are offered by Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc. For North Carolina residents, health plans are offered by Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc.  For South Carolina residents, health plans are offered by Cigna HealthCare of South Carolina, Inc. For Texas residents, health plans are offered by Cigna HealthCare of Texas, Inc.

1ObamaCare Subsidies, ObamaCare Facts, February 2021,

2 Annual Update of the HHS Poverty Guidelines, Federal Register, February 2021,

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