Medicare Open Enrollment Ends Today. Learn More



Health Care Reform and Moderate or Low Income Earners

If You Have a Moderate or Low Income
If You Have a Moderate or Low Income

Getting access to health insurance is one thing. Paying for it is another. No one knows yet how much private health plans will charge to cover people who purchase policies through the state insurance exchanges that begin in 2014, when most people will be required to have coverage. But buying it through an exchange instead of on your own will give you the advantage of group rates, which tend to be lower. Also, starting in 2014, the law helps people with moderate or low income in these ways: 

  • Provides subsidies or tax credits to reduce the cost of buying insurance through a state exchange. This help will be given to people on a sliding scale, if your income is below a certain level. Currently, for example, that would include those individuals with incomes of $14,403 to $43,320 and families of four with incomes of $29,326 to $88,200.
  • Limits annual out-of-pocket costs—deductibles and copayments—of insurance bought through an exchange for single people and families with moderate incomes. For example, a family of four now earning $60,000 could spend no more than $11,900 out-of-pocket for health care in a year.
  • Expands Medicaid, the health care program run by the states for low-income people, to cover any low-income legal residents under age 65 with annual income under a certain level—$14,403 for a single person, $19,378 for a married couple.


For the first time, these measures offer financial help with health insurance to millions of Americans without access to government-run programs like Medicare or employer health plans—and drastically reduce the risk of going bankrupt because of medical ex­penses. Whether the changes are sufficient, or still leave some people falling through the cracks, remains to be seen.

Other Insurance Situations


More Insights About the New Health Care Law


Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.


Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Walgreens 1 discount membership aarp

Members can earn 50 points per $1 spent on select health & wellness products at Walgreens.

member benefit aarp hear usa

Members save 15% on easy listening devices and more at the HearUSA Hearing Shop.

Eye Med 4 Membership Benefit AARP Discount

Members save up to 60% on eye exams and 30% on glasses at Target Optical.

Membership Benefits Discounts Email Genius

Brain boost? Get AARP email for access to memory exercises & more that help you focus.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points