My family and I are offered health benefits through my job, but we can’t afford to enroll. My employer pays 100% of the premium for workers, but contributes nothing toward the cost of adding my wife and kids. Can we try to find a better deal through Maryland Health Connection?

You are always welcome to apply for coverage through Maryland Health Connection, but you and/or your family members won’t be eligible for tax credits to help pay the premium unless your employer-sponsored coverage is unaffordable or doesn’t meet the minimum value requirements.

For 2017, coverage is only considered unaffordable if your cost for coverage for a single person (specifically, the employee) under the employer plan is more than 9.69% of your income. So although you may feel your family coverage is unaffordable in practical terms, it is considered technically affordable under federal law.

For 2017, if the cost of covering your family members is more than 8.16% of your household income, they may be eligible for an exemption from the mandate penalty. This means that you won’t have to pay a penalty when you file your taxes because they don’t have insurance. To see if you qualify for these exemptions, check out the exemption forms and filing process.