QUESTION

My wife and I want to cover our 25-year-old son on our marketplace coverage and apply for premium tax credits. We don’t claim him as a dependent; he doesn’t live with us, and he has a job. Do we have to count our son’s income as part of our income?

Individuals with coverage | Issues For Young Adults: Student Health Plans and Coverage on Parent’s Health Plans
ANSWER

No. You and your husband will be counted as a household of two and the income you and he report on your joint tax return will be counted for purposes of determining your eligibility. Your son will be counted separately as a household of one, and his income will be counted separately to determine his eligibility. Although your son is legally entitled to be on the same policy as you because he's under age 26, the IT functionality available through the federally facilitated marketplaces cannot currently accommodate a family plan in which there are two separate tax credits allocated to two separate tax households (yours and your son's). If you and your son are applying separately for premium tax credits, you cannot currently be on the same plan. Note that this means your son will have his own separate deductible and maximum out-of-pocket cap under his policy. Alternatively, your son could choose not to apply for premium tax credits, so that you are submitting only one application as a family. In such a case, you can add him to your plan. (26 U.S.C. § 36B-3(h); CMS, Application Spotlight: Family and Household Composition Section, March 2017.)

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