When you purchase health insurance through healthcare.gov, you may be eligible to lower costs on your private insurance plan. Financial help is based on your household size and annual income.

Household size includes:

  • Yourself
  • Your spouse
  • Your children and dependents who live with you, even if they make enough money to file a tax return themselves
  • Your unmarried partner, only if one or both of these apply:
    • They are your dependent for tax purposes
    • They are the parent of your child
  • 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

To learn more, see how to report your household size.

Annual household income includes:

  • Wages, salaries and bonuses
  • Tips and gratuities
  • 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
  • Farm income
  • Rent income

To learn more, see how to report your annual household income.

Accuracy Counts

Try to be as accurate as possible when you estimate your household size and income. If you underestimate your reported income or your income changes, you may end up receiving tax credits you aren’t eligible to get. As a result, you may owe money when you file your federal tax return.

Tax Credits

If your household meets the income requirements, you may be eligible for a tax credit. These tax credits are designed to make sure individuals and families never pay more than a certain percentage of their income on health insurance costs.

If you are eligible, these tax credits will cap the cost of your household health insurance at 2.07 – 9.83% of your household income. The lower your income is the bigger the credit you’ll receive.

Tax Credits Eligibility for 2021 Healthcare.gov Health Plans
You may qualify for lower premiums on an insurance plan bought through healthcare.gov if your yearly income meets certain requirements.
Household Size 1 2 3 4 5 6
Household Income $17,609 and $51,040 $23,792 and $68,960 $29,974 and $86,880 $36,156 and $104,800 $42,339 and $122,720 $48,521 and $140,640

The final cost of your health insurance plan will depend on what type of plan you choose, where you live, and whether or not you smoke.

The online Marketplace will determine your eligibility for tax credits when you sign up for coverage. For an estimate of what a plan might cost you, check out the Kaiser Family Foundation calculator.

You have two options on how to receive your premium tax credit.

  1. Get it Now
    If you choose the  Advance Premium Tax Credit (APTC) some or all of the estimated credit will be paid directly to your insurance company to lower what you pay out-of-pocket for your monthly premiums
  2. Get it Later
    You can also choose to get all of the credit when you file your tax return.

Cost-sharing Discounts

Cost sharing discounts are available on qualifying healthcare.gov plans for people who make between 138% and 250% of the federal poverty level. These discounts lower how much you pay for out-of-pocket health care expenses (including co-pays, coinsurance and deductibles), potentially helping you avoid medical debt.

Cost sharing discounts are applied automatically when you purchase a qualifying silver-level plan through healthcare.gov.

Cost-Sharing Discounts Eligibility for 2021 Health Plans
You may qualify for lower premiums and lower out-of-pocket costs for an insurance plan purchased through healthcare.gov if you meet certain requirements.
Household Size 1 2 3 4 5 6
Household Income $17,609 and $31,900 $23,792 and $43,100 $29,974 and $54,300 $36,156 and $65,500 $42,339 and $76,700 $48,521 and $87,900


Special cost sharing discounts are available for members of Montana’s federally-recognized tribes. Tribal members who purchase insurance through healthcare.gov will pay no cost-sharing for services if their income is below 300% of the federal poverty level.

Income too low?

If your household income is below a certain level you may qualify for the Montana Medicaid program. Montana Medicaid  is run by the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services. Healthcare.gov is able to help make Medicaid determination. You can also learn more at the  Montana Medicaid web site.