2018 Federal Poverty Levels Announced

On Jan. 18, 2018, HHS announced the 2018 federal poverty levels (FPL). The threshold for the 48 contiguous states is $12,140 for a single household and $25,100 for a household of four individuals. The thresholds are different for Alaska ($15,180 and $31,380, respectively) and Hawaii ($13,960 and $28,870, respectively).

The FPL plays an important role under the ACA. Individuals who purchase coverage through the exchange may qualify for a premium tax credit if their household earnings are within 100 percent to 400 percent of the FPL. Employers wishing to avoid a penalty under the employer mandate may use the FPL affordability safe harbor, which means the cost of an employee's required contribution for employer sponsored coverage does not exceed 9.56 percent (for 2018) of the single FPL. This means that the FPL affordability safe harbor threshold in the 48 contiguous states for 2018 would be $96.71 per month. As a reminder, the FPL safe harbor is only one of the affordability safe harbors; the other two are the rate of pay and Form W-2 safe harbors.

Employers should consider this adjustment to the FPL when determining whether their coverage is affordable, especially if they're using the FPL affordability safe harbor. The 2018 FPL is applicable beginning Jan. 13, 2018.

FPL Announcement »