Question: I have unearned income but no earned income. Will this affect my eligibility for a subsidy?
Answer: It is likely that your unearned income would be taken into account in determining your eligibility for a subsidy on an insurance exchange. The income that is considered is theadjusted gross incomethat you report on your income tax return,subject to certain modifications. The result is known as Modified Adjusted Gross Income or MAGI. It includes most sources of unearned income, such asSocial Security benefits (including disability payments, but not Supplemental Security Income), pension distributions, and investment income. You can find more informationon calculating MAGI on thehealthcare.gov websiteand on a website maintained by the University of California Labor Center.
Robert I. Field, Ph.D., J.D., M.P.H. is a professor of law at the Earle Mack School of Law and professor of health management and policy at the School of Public Health at Drexel University. He also writes for The Field Clinic blog. Ask Rob your questions about the new healthcare law.