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Covered California and Obamacare related questions from consumers, employers and agents are answered by Phil Daigle with the best information available at the time. Archived entries may no longer be accurate as the Covered California and Obamacare knowledge-base is evolving quickly. TO REQUEST A PERSONAL RESPONSE INCLUDE EMAIL ADDRESS.

Unmarried Household Eligibility?

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Question: We are an unmarried couple with two children. How do we count our household size and income when we apply for subsidies in Covered California? Can we buy one policy to cover the whole family?

Answer: It depends on how you file your taxes. Unmarried couples are never eligible to file a joint return, so no you cannot buy one policy for the entire family. If you and your partner file separate returns and you each claim one of your children, you each will be considered as a household of two. The income of each household would be evaluated separately to calculate eligibility for and the amount of premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions. If one of you claim both children as dependents on your tax return, then you and your children will be considered a household of three. Your income will be the basis for determining subsidy eligibility for the 3 of you. Your partner will be a household of one and his/her eligibility for premium tax credits will be determined separately.


What if there are no children involved? This is an unmarried couple, with only one person having income. If the working person was told they could claim their significant other as a dependent due to providing over 50% support for the entire year, would that change the person with no income from a household of 1 to a household of 2 for Covered California?

Ernest: Yes. It is a 4-person household

Just to be clear, If there is an unmarried couple and only one person has income and the working person claims their significant other as a dependent along with the two children, would they be considered a household of 4 even though the couple is not married?

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