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4. Household Income

In this section you will report current income for each person listed on your application. Do not report income no longer received. We will use each person's current income to calculate their projected annual income for the coverage year you are applying for. If you think the projected annual income will be different, you can provide us with a different amount.

Jump to a topic by using the links below:

Income to Report 

MNsure estimates your household income to figure how much financial assistance you may get. The MNsure application will ask questions about household income for the year you want coverage, not last year’s income. You may use last year’s income to estimate income for the year you are seeking coverage, but you must make a best estimate on your expected household income to get the correct amount of financial help.

Depending on the income source, you may have an option to enter your income as monthly or yearly.

What if my household income changes during the year?

Report income and household changes as soon as possible. If you don’t, you could end up with the wrong amount of financial assistance or even the wrong health insurance plan. You will need to contact the MNsure Contact Center, the Minnesota Department of Human Services or your county or tribal agency depending on which program you are eligible for.

See frequently asked questions about income changes.

Whose Income to Include 

Most households include the tax filer, their spouse if they have one, and their tax dependents, including those who don’t need coverage. MNsure uses estimated income of all household members who are required to file a tax return, even if they are not applying for coverage.

Why do I need to include people in my household who don’t need insurance?

MNsure marketplace savings are based on income for all household members, not just the ones who need insurance.

If anyone in your household has coverage through a job-based plan, a plan they bought themselves, a public program like Medical Assistance (MA) or Medicare, or another source, include them and their income on your application.

When you apply you’ll say which household members need coverage.

How Is Income Counted? 

MNsure uses “modified adjusted gross income” (MAGI) to determine the programs and savings you are eligible for. For most people, it’s identical or very close to adjusted gross income (AGI), which is a line on your federal tax return. MAGI is not a line on your federal tax return but can be estimated using the information outlined under the Income Information topic below.

If an individual's current income hasn't changed from their most recent tax return, you can use that tax return as a guide on what types of income and income adjustments (deductions) to report.

The application will compare the information you provide with information from the IRS, the Social Security Administration, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development and other sources. You will be asked to provide proof of the income if what you report is significantly different than the income from these sources.

Income Information 

Select all the individuals who have income. "Income" (MAGI) is any of the following:
(For more about MAGI, see How is Income Counted, above.) 

  • All taxable income. Taxable income is income you would list on a 1040 tax form. If you are not sure if a particular type of income is taxable, visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov.
  • All foreign earned income, including foreign earned income that is not taxable.
  • All interest income, including interest income that is not taxable.
  • All Title II Social Security benefits, including Title II income that is not taxable. Title II Social Security benefits include retirement, disability and Railroad Retirement benefits. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is not Title II income.

Do NOT include other nontaxable income, such as:

  • Child support
  • Income from an ABLE account
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Worker's compensation
  • Veteran's payments

Income Details 

Enter each household member’s current income. Below are details for reporting common income types. (There will be a place to adjust projected annual income later in the application.)

  • Alimony: For judgments made after December 31, 2018, neither spouse can include alimony on the tax return. For judgments made before December 31, 2018, report how much you currently receive each month in alimony. Alimony is a payment made to a former spouse under a divorce or legal separation court document. For more information on how to determine if a payment is considered alimony see IRS publication 17.
  • American Indian and Alaska Native income includes the following:
    • Alaska Native Corporations and Settlement Trusts.
    • Property held in trust located within the boundaries of a prior federal reservation or under supervision of the secretary of the interior.
    • Rents, leases, rights of way, royalties, usage rights, natural resource extraction or harvests from trusts or properties, or resulting from the exercise of federally protected rights.
    • Ownership interests or usage rights to items of religious, spiritual, traditional or cultural significance, or which support subsistence or traditional lifestyle.
    • Student financial assistance provided by the Bureau of Indian Affairs educations programs.
  • Farm income: Report current monthly net income from farming. Net income is gross revenue minus expenses. If the income varies from month to month, report the amount you expect to receive in the next 12 months. If your net income is a negative number, report $0.
  • Interest/dividends: Report how much you currently receive in interest and dividend payments. Include both taxable and tax-exempt income. If you anticipate receiving this income in the next 12 months give the annual amount of how much you expect to receive in the next 12 months.
  • Rental/royalty income: Report current monthly net rental or royalty income. Net income is gross revenue minus expenses. If the income varies from month to month, report the amount you expect to receive in the next 12 months.
  • Retirement/pension: Report how much you currently receive each month in retirement or pension income. Report the gross amount.
  • Self-employment: Report current monthly net income from self-employment. Net income is gross revenue minus expenses. If the income varies from month to month, report the amount you expect to receive in the next 12 months. If your net income is a negative number, report $0.
  • Social Security benefits: Report how much you currently receive each month in Social Security benefits. Social Security benefits are Title II Income. Title II Social Security benefits include retirement, disability, and Railroad Retirement benefits. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is not Title II income. Report the gross amount before any deductions. Include both taxable and tax-exempt income.
  • Taxable one-time income: Report any one-time taxable income you received this month or expect to receive this month. This includes prizes, awards and gambling winnings.
  • Taxable scholarships: Report how much you receive in taxable scholarships, awards and grants income.
  • Unemployment:
    • Report how much you receive each week in unemployment. Report the gross amount before any deductions.
    • If you are seasonally employed, report the amount of unemployment you expect to receive in the next 12 months. Be sure to select “Yes” on the last question and you will be able to enter a wage record for the amount of wages you expect to receive in the next 12 months.
  • Wages before taxes:
    • Report how much you currently make in wages and tips before taxes are deducted. Do not include amounts deducted from wages by the employer for child care, health insurance or retirement plans that are not taxable (sometimes called “pre-tax deductions”).
    • If you are seasonally employed, report the amount of unemployment you expect to receive in the next 12 months. Be sure to select “Yes” on the last question and you will be able to enter a wage record for the amount of wages you expect to receive in the next 12 months.
  • Other taxable income: Report how much you receive each month in other taxable income. If you are not sure if a particular type of income is taxable, visit the IRS website. If you anticipate receiving a source of taxable income in the next 12 months give an average monthly amount of how much you expect to receive over the next 12 months.

Tips for Income Details 

  • If a frequency other than "Yearly" is selected the application will calculate yearly income amount using the “Amount” and “Frequency" fields.
  • If "Wages before taxes" is selected for "Income Type", additional fields will appear for employer information.
  • Some income types such as unemployment only allow certain frequencies to be selected
  • The "Income Type" selection will only allow you to pick one income type at a time.
    • If a person has more than one income type, select "Yes" on the last question and you will be able to enter another income type and details.
    • If none of the income types apply, but the income would be listed as income on a 1040 tax return, select "Other taxable income."

Income Adjustments 

Indicate if the person expects to have any income adjustments in the next 12 months. Income adjustments--also known as deductions--are expenses listed on the front page of the 1040 tax form that you can subtract from your gross income. Your gross income minus any adjustments is your "adjusted gross income."

The income adjustments listed on the MNsure application are below. The adjustments marked with an asterisk (*) may not reflect changes the IRS made to these particular adjustments in 2018.

  • Educator expenses: If you are an eligible educator, you can subtract up to $250 per year in qualified expenses. If you and your spouse are both educators, you can subtract up to $500 per year in qualified expenses. Qualified expenses are things you pay for like books, supplies, equipment and other materials used in the classroom. For more information see IRS Publication 529.
  • Certain business expenses of reservists, performing artists, and fee-basis government officials: If you are a member of the National Guard who travels more than 100 miles from home to perform services as a National Guard or Reserve member, you can subtract certain business expenses. If you are a performing artist or a fee-basis government official, you can subtract certain expenses. For more information, see IRS Form 2106.
  • Health savings account deduction: If you make contributions to your health savings account (other than employer contributions, rollovers, and qualified HSA funding distributions from an IRA) you may be able to subtract these. For more information, see IRS Form 8889.
  • *Moving expenses: If you are moving in connection with your job or business or to start a new job, you may be able to subtract some moving expenses. Your new workplace must be at least 50 miles farther from your old home than your old home was from your old workplace. If you had no former workplace, your new workplace must be at least 50 miles from your old home. For more information, see IRS Form 3903. NOTE: This deduction was modified beginning tax year 2018. Moving expenses are no longer deductible unless you are a member of the military moving under military orders.
  • Deductible part of self-employment tax: If you are self-employed and will owe self-employment tax, you may be able to subtract a portion of that tax. See IRS Schedule SE.
  • Self-employed SEP, SIMPLE and qualified plans: If you are self-employed or a partner in a business, you may be able to subtract some of these expenses. See IRS Publication 560 or, if you are a minister, Publication 517.
  • Self-employed health insurance deduction: If you are self-employed, a partner or receive wages from an S-corporation and are a more-than-2% shareholder you may be able to subtract these expenses. See the IRS Instructions for Form 1040 for more information.
  • Penalty on early withdrawal of savings: If you are being charged a penalty because of early withdrawal of savings, you can subtract this expense. For more information see the IRS Instructions for Form 1040.
  • *Alimony paid: If you are making payments to or for your spouse or former spouse under a divorce or separation instrument you may be able to subtract this expense. For more information, see IRS Publication 504. NOTE: For judgments made after December 31, 2018, neither spouse can include alimony on the tax return.
  • IRA deduction: If you are making contributions to a traditional IRA, and you have earned income, you may be able to subtract this expense. For more information, see the IRA Deduction Worksheet in the IRS Instructions for Form 1040.
  • Student loan interest deduction: You may be able to subtract up to $2,500 in annual interest from qualified student loans. For more information see the IRS Instructions for Form 1040.

Income Adjustment Types 

Select all income adjustments the individual expects to have in the next 12 months.

Projected Annual Income 

Using the modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) information explained above, review each household member’s annual income calculation for the year you are seeking coverage. If you think that the annual income for a household member will be different than what is shown, select "No" for "Is this what you expect the annual income to be?" and enter the expected income when prompted. If you reported a self-employment or farm loss in the income details section, the amount of the loss is included in your calculated projected annual income. Common reasons why the calculated amount might not be accurate include year-end bonuses or seasonal work.

Depending on the calculated annual income for each applicant, you may see screens for: 

  • Additional Household Information (for those who may qualify for assistance based on other things besides income)
  • Additional APTC Program Information (for those who may qualify for advanced premium tax credits)

Additional Household Information 

This section asks household questions that may vary depending on what program the household maybe potentially eligible for based on income. It also helps to determine if applicants qualify for assistance on grounds other than income. If you answer yes to any of these questions, you may be asked to provide more information, for example, if you say that someone in your household has a disability, you will need to provide some extra information about that disability.

For this section you may need: 

  • Details of disabilities for anyone in your household 
  • Details of any personal assistance services received by anyone in your household
  • Details of any program-specific information for anyone in your household

Additional Information for Medicaid/CHIP Applicants 

You’ll see this section if some of the people you are applying for appear to be eligible for Medical Assistance (Medicaid or Children's Health Insurance Program/CHIP). To ensure that these people get the right services, check the box under any person the question applies to.

Additional APTC Program Information 

You’ll see this section if some of the people you are applying for appear to be eligible for advanced premium tax credits (APTC). Check the box under any person the question applies to.

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