The federal poverty guidelines (FPL) for 2017 have been issued by the Department of Health and Human Services. These poverty guidelines are important for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the Affordable Care Act. The FPL guidelines are used to determine eligibility for premium assistance and cost-sharing, as well as eligibility for other federal entitlement programs such as the Children’s Health Insurance Program, certain parts of Medicaid and subsidies for Medicare Part D prescription benefits.
In addition, the FPL guidelines are used for purposes of the safe harbor available for satisfying the affordability standard applicable to employers subject to the ACA’s employer shared responsibility provisions. Coverage under an employer-sponsored plan is deemed affordable if the employee’s required contribution to the plan does not exceed 9.69% (indexed for 2017) of the employee’s household income for the taxable year, based on the cost of single coverage in the employer’s least expensive plan. The FPL safe harbor method also permits use of the federal poverty guidelines in effect six months prior to the beginning of the plan year in order to provide adequate time to establish premium amounts in advance of the plan’s open enrollment period.
2017 Poverty Guidelines
for the 48 Contiguous States and District of Columbia*
Persons in family/household
2016 Poverty Guidelines
For families/households with more than 8 persons
Add $4,180 for each additional person
Add $4,160 for each additional person
*Note: The FPL limits vary slightly in Alaska and Hawaii.
Additional FPL information is available from the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation: http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty-guidelines.
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