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New federal poverty guidelines released for 2014


The federal government has released slightly higher poverty level guidelines for 2014, reports Kaiser Health News. The guidelines don't affect the income thresholds people are using to apply for subsidized health plans this year, but they will be relevant in the fall, when buying coverage for 2015.

Under the new guidelines, Medicaid coverage will be available to individuals earning up to $16,105 and families earning up to $32,913 in states that have decided to expand Medicaid under the provisions of the federal health law. Premium subsidies in the new online marketplaces will be available to individuals earning up to $46,680 and families of four earning up to $95,400, writes KHN. 

For the continental United States, the federal poverty level rose slightly from the last year to $11,670 for a single person. That is 1.6 percent higher than in 2013. A family of four this year will be considered impoverished if it earns $23,850 or less.

While the differences are small, it may mean that some people on the cusp of qualifying for premium subsidies will instead be directed to the Medicaid program in states that are expanding it. In the states that aren’t expanding Medicaid, people who fall just short of the poverty level might end up with no coverage at all in 2015. Read more. 


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