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Her Bronze insurance plan premium is currently about $2051 (insane, right? How can anyone afford this if not for Obama?!). Her tax credit is $2049. So she was paying $2 per month (nice; thank you Obama!).

Now she was told her tax credit went up to $2412. Don't know why. Nothing changed about her income. So that is $361 MORE than her insurance premium.

I'm assuming that the cost when you say that her tax credit 'went up' the new credit is for 2019? If that's the case, the reason the credit went up is probably that the cost of the silver plan insurance, which the subsidies are based on, also went up. Presumably, she has confirmed that her bronze plan price will stay the same?

Her question is, will she get that $361 as a tax credit? In other words, will she be getting PAID $361 to have the Bronze plan? I said since it was a tax CREDIT, then yes, I think so.

Sorry, you are incorrect. First of all, it's a subsidy for your insurance, not a tax credit. Since the subsidies are administered through the IRS, it does appear as a credit on your return, when you finalize your income for the year, to confirm that the correct subsidy amount was being credited. But an excess subsidy is not refundable, so no, she will not get any excess back.

If not, if it just zeros out and she gets the insurance free - an even deal - then she's thinking maybe she should get a Silver plan or something since it'll be paid for.

I'm not sure why you would think a more expensive plan will be "paid for." Her subsidy will remain at $2,412, no matter what the cost of her plan is - so the question is: what is the cost of the silver plan? If it's more than $2,412, she will have to pay the difference. That said, if it's only a little more than $2,412, then the better coverage might be worth paying a little more.

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