To Our BASE Clients

As 2016 winds to a close, and with it the latest era of higher commodity prices, it is time to take another look at some of your options concerning acquiring health care insurance and managing your out-of-pocket medical expenses for the year ahead.

Should you renew your BASE plan in 2017, or should you buy your health insurance through the insurance exchanges? The tax benefits provided by a BASE 105 Health Reimbursements Plan have generally resulted in savings of 30 – 45% of total medical expenses. But the subsidies for health insurance plans purchased through the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges could provide an even greater overall benefit, especially in years of lower income levels.

To qualify for a health insurance subsidy, a few requirements must be met:

  • Be under 65 years of age. (At 65+, you qualify for coverage under Medicare.)
  • Your employer cannot reimburse you for medical insurance premiums.
  • The policy must be purchased directly from the Affordable Care Act’s public exchanges. Your local insurance agent should be able to assist you with the purchase if needed.
  • Your family must have an adjusted gross income, per your tax return, of between 138% – 400% of the federal poverty level. The federal poverty guidelines for 2016 for various household sizes are as follows:

    Household Size 138% 400%
    1 $16,394 $47,520
    2 $22,108 $64,080
    3 $27,821 $80,640
    4 $33,534 $97,200
    5 $39,247 $113,760
    6 $44,960 $130,320

The value of the subsidy remains the same, regardless of the actual policy premium. Some examples of the potential subsidy possible by buying insurance through the exchanges:

  • A couple, age 60, with an income of $60,000 in 2016 qualify for a premium subsidy of ~$900 per month
  • A couple, age 40, with 2 children and an income of $60,000 in 2016 qualify for a premium subsidy of ~$575 per month
  • An individual, age 40, with an income of $30,000 for 2016 qualify for a premium subsidy of ~$120 per month

To get a better estimate of your potential subsidy, use the simple subsidy calculator provided by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation online at If you would like to discuss this matter in more detail, please give us a call or send us an email.