Get Coverage How to estimate your income

Who's included in your household

For the Marketplace, a household usually includes the tax filer, their spouse if they have one, and their tax dependents.

Tax filers + tax dependents = household

Follow these basic rules when reporting members of your household:

  • Iclude your spouse if you’re legally married.
  • If you plan to claim someone as a tax dependent for 2017, do include them on your application.
  • If you won’t claim them as a tax dependent, don’t include them.
  • Include your spouse and tax dependents even if they don’t need health coverage.

See the limited exceptions to these basic rules in the chart below.

Learn more about who you can claim as a tax dependent from the IRS.

Who to include in your household

Relationship Include in household? Notes
Dependent children, including adopted and foster children Yes Include any child you’ll claim as a tax dependent, regardless of age.
Children, shared custody Sometimes Include children whose custody you share only during years you claim them as tax dependents.
Non-dependent child under 26 Sometimes Include them only if you want to cover them on your Marketplace plan.
Children under 21 you take care of Yes Include any child under 21 you take care of and who lives with you, even if not your tax dependent.
Unborn children No Don’t include a baby until it’s born. You have up to 60 days after the birth to enroll your baby.
Dependent parents Yes Include parents only if you’ll claim them as tax dependents.
Dependent siblings and other relatives Yes Include them only if you’ll claim them as tax dependents.
Spouse Yes Include your legally married spouse, whether opposite sex or same sex. Married couples must file taxes jointly to qualify for savings.
Legally separated spouse No Don’t include a legally separated spouse, even if you live together.
Divorced spouse No Don't include a former spouse, even if you live together.
Spouse, living apart Yes Include your spouse unless you’re legally separated or divorced. (See next row for an important exception.)
Spouse, if you’re a victim of domestic abuse, domestic violence, or spousal abandonment Not required In these cases, you don’t have to include your spouse. See rules for victims of domestic abuse, domestic violence, or spousal abandonment.
Unmarried domestic partner Sometimes Include an unmarried domestic partner only if you have a child together or you’ll claim your partner as a tax dependent.
Roommate No Don’t include people you just live with — unless they’re a spouse, tax dependent, or covered by another exception in this chart.

Common questions

  • If you aren’t claimed as a tax dependent by someone else and have no tax dependents yourself: Count only yourself in your household.
  • If you are claimed as a tax dependent by someone else: You’re counted as part of their household, not your own.

Yes.

If you’re married, you must file a joint federal tax return for the year you want coverage in order to qualify for premium tax credits and other savings.

If you file separately, you can enroll in a Marketplace plan together but can’t get premium tax credits or other savings.

No, you don’t have to file jointly — and you can still qualify for a premium tax credit and other savings.

If you’re living apart from your spouse and are a victim of domestic abuse, domestic violence, or spousal abandonment and want to enroll in your own health plan separate from you abuser or abandoner, you can say you’re “unmarried” on your Marketplace application without fear of penalty for mis-stating your marital status.

This will let you (and possibly your dependents) qualify for premium tax credits and other savings based on your income.

Marketplace savings are based on income for all household members, not just the ones who need insurance.

If anyone in your household has coverage through a job-based plan, a plan they bought themselves, a public program like Medicaid, CHIP, or Medicare, or another source, include them and their income on your application.

When you apply you can state which household members need coverage.

You can enroll in a plan, but you wouldn't qualify for premium tax credits and other savings. You’d have to pay full price for a plan.

 
 

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