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What are the federal poverty level (FPL) guidelines?

What are the federal poverty level (FPL) guidelines?

The federal poverty level is set each year by Health and Human Services (HHS). The government uses these guidelines to determine your household’s eligibility for government health insurance programs like Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and premium tax credits

The government deals with you in the context of your household. If you’re single and file taxes as an individual, you’re a household of one. If you have a family of four and file a single tax return for you, your spouse, your two dependents, you’re a household of four. 

The federal poverty level increases with household size. I’ve listed the 2021 federal poverty level (FPL) numbers below.

2022 Federal Poverty Level (FPL) amounts

2022 Federal Poverty Levels (FPLs) for the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia

  • $13,590 for a household of 1
  • $18,310 for a household of 2
  • $23,030 for a household of 3
  • $27,750 for a household of 4
  • $32,470 for a household of 5
  • $37,190 for a household of 6
  • $41,910 for a household of 7
  • $46,630 for a household of 8

If your household has more than eight people in the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia, add $4,720 for each additional person.

2022 Poverty Guidelines for Alaska

  • $16,990 for a household of 1
  • $22,890 for a household of 2
  • $28,790 for a household of 3
  • $34,690 for a household of 4
  • $40,590 for a household of 5
  • $46,490 for a household of 6
  • $52,390 for a household of 7
  • $58,290 for a household of 8

If your household has more than eight people in Alaska, add $5,900 for each additional person.

2022 Poverty Guidelines for Hawaii

  • $15,630 for a household of 1
  • $21,060 for a household of 2
  • $26,490 for a household of 3
  • $31,920 for a household of 4
  • $37,350 for a household of 5
  • $42,780 for a household of 6
  • $48,210 for a household of 7
  • $53,640 for a household of 8

If your household has more than eight people in Hawaii, add $5,430 for each additional person.

How to calculate your income and household size

When applying for a program that uses federal poverty levels to decide eligibility, be sure to verify how it defines income and household size. The federal poverty levels do not set a standard definition of “income” or “household” size. Programs using these poverty guidelines to define eligibility define these terms.  For example, the Marketplace and the IRS use MAGI (modified adjusted gross income) for income and “tax household” for a household.[1]


Notes:

[1] A tax household includes all individuals listed on a single federal income tax return.

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