What is the federal poverty level?

The federal poverty level (FPL) is what Covered California uses to determine whether you’ll get financial help or if you qualify for Medi-Cal. It’s a measure of income level issued annually by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Federal poverty levels are used to determine eligibility for certain programs and benefits.

If ineligible for Medi-Cal, you may qualify for a Covered California health plan with financial help, including federal tax credits, lower deductibles and copays and other cost-sharing reductions in an Enhanced Silver plan (Silver 73, Silver 87 or Silver 94 plan, and American Indian/Alaska Native plans).

What you get is based on your yearly household income. Lower-income families will receive more subsidies. Subsidies help with your monthly payments and out-of-pocket costs.

If your household earns up to 250 percent of the federal poverty level, you can get extra financial help for your medical care if you choose an Enhanced Silver plan (Silver 73, Silver 87, or Silver 94 plan).

These Silver plans qualify for cost-sharing reductions, which lower your deductibles, copays and coinsurance costs for medical care and prescriptions, as well as the out-of-pocket maximum that you might pay in a year. 

Learn more about the financial help you could receive.

See the Program Eligibility by Federal Poverty Level chart (PDF).

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