How to Apply For Health Insurance If Your Income Is Unpredictable
Written by AmeriCorps member, Natasha Pietila
Since October 1st, we have received many questions about how to report complicated income on the Washington Healthplanfinder applications. Below, we discuss two common income questions.
Question: My income fluctuates every month. How should I report this on my application?
Answer: The Health Care Authority instructs Washington residents to report estimated monthly income. You should report the most accurate, up-to-date income for 2014. Here are some scenarios and tips:
- If you predict that your 2014 income will fluctuate and mirror last year’s income, you might report a monthly average income, based on last year’s income.
- If your income was stable last year, but is fluctuating now, you might report an estimated monthly average, based off your income earned since January 1st, 2014.
- If you know that your income will be changing, report a change of income on your application after it has stabilized. This may be particularly relevant to seasonal workers. If your income changes by $150 or more per month, report the new income within 30 days – you may make this change on your application, even after open enrollment has ended. Note that this may change your eligibility for the type of insurance which you are receiving and/or the government subsidies for which you are eligible.
Essentially, you want your income on the Healthplanfinder to match up with the income which you report to the IRS.
Question: I receive rental income. Do I report my gross or net rental income?
*Please note that there are exceptions. You should report the income which you report on your taxes and refer to an accountant for specific questions.