The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as ObamaCare, aims to allow Americans better access to affordable health care. One of the ways this is done is by providing financial subsidies to help purchase health insurance in the Marketplace. These subsidies are based on income, and many Americans wonder exactly what income must be reported when applying for insurance. In particular, many Americans wonder if Social Security income is part of reportable income.

Subsidies and Income

Americans who make between 100% – 400% of the federal poverty level qualify for assistance with health insurance premiums each month. In addition, those who make between 100% – 250% of the federal poverty level qualify for assistance with cost-sharing, such as copayments and deductibles. For the next enrollment period, beginning November 15, 2014, the 2014 poverty level will be used. That level is $23,850 for a family of four.

Almost all types of income must be reported to the Marketplace when applying for subsidized insurance. This includes your income, your spouse’s income, and any income for dependents or others needing insurance in your household, if they make enough to be required to file a tax return. Income should be reported before taxes, but after your pretax benefits are deducted. Common pre-tax benefits include health insurance, retirement, or child care costs.

If you are on Social Security, you must report those payments as income, including Social Security Disability payments. However, you do NOT need to report Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments.

Some income, such as child support, gifts, SSI, veteran’s disability, and others do not need to be reported. For more details on what to report, visit

Proving Income

When a particular income is reported, it needs to be verified before the tax subsidy benefits can begin. The Marketplace application will ask for your social security number, as well as the social security numbers of anyone else in the household whose income is included, or who needs insurance.

These numbers will help the government confirm Social Security payments. In many other cases, you will be estimating your expected income for the future. The government may ask for more information, and you may need to provide additional documentation.

The ACA is designed to allow more Americans to access affordable health care. In order to do so, the government provides tax credits to those within certain income ranges. When applying, almost all types of income must be reported, including Social Security and Social Security Disability. SSI is NOT required to be reported.