For Washington Residents: Getting Financial Help With Your 2014 Healthcare Costs

Starting in January 2014, some people will be able to get financial help with the cost of their health coverage. Here’s a quick overview of how to understand if you qualify and how much you can get. This information is for people living in Washington. If you’re in Alaska, go here.

The main form of help is called the Premium Tax Credit. This credit comes from the federal government and helps to reduce the amount you have to pay each month towards the cost of your health coverage.

Who is Qualified for Help?

Whether you qualify for help depends on your household income and the number of people in your family. The government measures people’s incomes in relation to a measure known as the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). If your household income is below 400% of the Federal Poverty Level, you may qualify for help. The table below shows what that means in Washington state:

Percentage of Federal Poverty Level

Household Size






















































For each additional person, add






If your household income is below 138% of FPL, you may qualify for Medicaid and you won’t have to purchase your own healthcare coverage in 2014. If your income is over the 400% amount for your family size then you won’t qualify for federal government help with your healthcare coverage costs.

How Does the Premium Tax Credit Work?

If you qualify for a tax credit, you can choose how you want to receive help. The government can pay the tax credit or a portion of the tax credit directly to Premera each month and we’ll use this to reduce your monthly bill. Alternatively, you can choose to pay your full bill each month, and have the amount of your tax credit taken off your income tax bill when you complete your tax return. Once you’ve met your tax liability for the year, any remaining credit will be paid to you in the form of a refund.

How do You Apply for the Tax Credit?

Premera’s sales team can help you sign up for a plan and apply for a tax credit, starting on October 1. You can contact us at 888-304-4755 in Washington.

How Much Will You Get?

It depends! The tax credit is designed to reduce the percentage of your household income you have to pay towards your coverage. So the amount you get will depend on both your income and the cost of the plan you choose to purchase. The table below shows the maximum amount of your household income you should have to spend on your health plan.

Health care maximum costs table

Example: How the Tax Credit Works

Julia is purchasing coverage for herself, her partner Peter and their two children. She and Peter have a combined household income of $70,650, putting them at 300% of the Federal Poverty Level. Julia selects a Silver Premera Plan. She receives a tax credit so that she only pays $559.31 per month for her family’s coverage and the premium tax credit takes care of the rest.

Want to Find Out More?

If you qualify, you can apply for a tax credit starting on October 1 which becomes effective on January 1, 2014. Contact our sales team for more information at 888-304-4755.

11 Comments on For Washington Residents: Getting Financial Help With Your 2014 Healthcare Costs

  1. I am legally separated from my husband but we live in the same household and we have a daughter still at home. How do I apply if I am legally separated?

    • Whether or not you qualify for help with your costs is based on household income, so it depends on how you file your taxes. During the application process you’ll be asked how you filed your taxes in 2012 and how you’ll file them for 2013 and 2014.This information is used to determine what help you may qualify for. The best way to find out what help you may qualify for is to complete the application at or give us a call at 1-877-PREMERA and one of our sales team can go through the application for you.

  2. me and my husband have 3 children so that 5 and my husband is the only one working right now he is at the 138% level for are family an he gets insurance throw he’s work do I qualify.

  3. my partner and I file separately within the same household and our finances are separate. We also have separate health policies. She will be keeping hers. When I apply, is her income added into the household total and is the household total 2 or 1?

    • Hi David. There are a number of different factors which affect the calculation of your subsidy. The best way to understand this is to go through the application process, which you can do either by calling our team on 1-877-PREMERA or by signing up on This doesn’t commit you to purchasing a plan, but will help you understand any subsidy that you may qualify for. The size of your household and the way your income is calculated are based on the information you provided in your tax return, so if you file separately, your eligibility for any help with costs should also be calculated separately.

  4. Joseph A McConnell, Jr. // December 10, 2013 at 6:03 am //

    I am single, age 82, and currently enrolled with Premera B.C. on Plan F. My income is less than 10K per year but my assets may be too high to qualify for financial assistance??

    • Hello Joseph. First, thank you for selecting a Premera plan! The subsidies discussed in this article only apply to persons buying Qualified Health Plans that are mandated by the Affordable Care Act. If you’re age 65 and over, you’re under Medicare and not eligible for the ACA subsidies.

  5. I signed up for my Premera coverage under the ACA. My credit card was charged on 12/2/2013. I called your customer service line and was told that I indeed am in the system and should be receiving my insurance information in the mail. What is the latest possible date that you will be mailing insurance information?

  6. I have the same question as Pamela – only I am working and my husband is in school. I make between 150-200%…does the tax credit apply for my husband?

  7. My husband and I are both unemployed and trying to start a business. We have some money in the bank although we aren’t sure what will be the best avenue for insurance. We are nervous due to limited money coming in.

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