2022 Federal Poverty Level

Christian Worstell
In this article...
  • The federal poverty level is used to determine your eligibility for a number of state and federal programs, including Medicaid. See the most up to date federal poverty level information for your state and learn how it may affect your eligibility for tax credits, Community Service Block Grants and other programs.

The federal poverty level (FPL) is a common and informal reference to the federal poverty guidelines established by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The federal poverty level is used to determine eligibility for various state and federal assistance programs such as Medicaid, along with premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions that are used to lower Marketplace health insurance (Obamacare) spending. 

The federal poverty level is consistent across the lower 48 states, even though the cost of living differs in each state. Hawaii and Alaska each have their own established poverty levels. The federal poverty level also does not adjust for differences in the cost of living between urban and rural areas.

The federal poverty level originated with President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty initiative in the 1960’s to measure and identify those in need and establish eligibility guidelines for various welfare programs that were created during his administration.  

What Is the Federal Poverty Level for 2022?

The 2022 federal poverty level was issued on January 12, 2021 and is the guideline used to determine eligibility for Medicaid and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) for the contiguous 48 states, Alaska and Hawaii.

2022 Federal Poverty Level for the 48 Contiguous States and the District of Columbia

Members of household Federal poverty level

1

$13,590

2

$18,310

3

$23,030

4

$27,750

5

$32,470

6

$37,190

7

$41,910

8

$46,630


For households with more than eight people, add $4,720 for each additional person. 

2022 Federal Poverty Level for Alaska 

Members of household Federal poverty level

1

$16,990

2

$22,890

3

$28,790

4

$34,690

5

$40,590

6

$46,490

7

$52,390

8

$58,290


For households with more than eight people, add $5,900 for each additional person. 

2022 Federal Poverty Level for Hawaii

Members of household Federal poverty level

1

$15,630

2

$21,060

3

$26,490

4

$31,920

5

$37,350

6

$42,780

7

$48,210

8

$53,640


For households with more than eight people, add $5,430 for each additional person.

How Is the Federal Poverty Level Calculated?

The federal poverty level is updated every year according to inflation and is typically issued every January by the HHS. 

The federal poverty level uses household income relative to the number of members in the household and weighs that against the Consumer Price Index of the cost of goods adjusted for inflation. 

What Is the Poverty Level vs. Poverty Threshold?

The federal poverty level is not to be confused with the “poverty threshold.”

The poverty threshold is a specified dollar amount established by the Census Bureau to determine the income needed to maintain a minimum standard of living that provides necessities such as shelter, food, water and clothing. The poverty threshold is used primarily for statistical purposes such as determining the number or rate of people living in poverty. It is not used to determine any government entitlement program or benefit eligibility. 

In other words, the poverty threshold is the amount of income needed for a minimum standard of living, while the federal poverty level is the amount of income needed to qualify for various government assistance programs. The poverty threshold and the federal poverty level will not necessarily be the same number.    

What Are the Federal Poverty Limits for Marketplace Health Insurance Assistance?

If your income is between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level, you may qualify for premium tax credits that will lower your monthly premium for a health insurance plan purchased on the Marketplace (Obamacare). 

The type and amount of tax credit you qualify for can vary based on the amount of your income. 2022 insurance plans use 2021 federal poverty levels to determine tax credit eligibility. 

The chart below shows the minimum and maximum income needed to qualify for tax credits that can lower the cost of your Marketplace insurance plan in 2022. 

Members of household Minimum income in states without expanded Medicaid (100% of 2021 federal poverty level) Maximum income (400% of 2021 federal poverty level)

1

$12,880

$51,520

2

$17,420

$69,680

3

$21,960

$87,840

4

$26,500

$106,000

5

$31,040

$124,160

6

$35,580

$142,320

7

$40,120

$160,480

8

$44,660

$178,640


For households with more than eight people, add $4,540 for each additional person.

What Are the Federal Poverty Limits for Cost Sharing Reduction Subsidies?

Cost Sharing Reductions (CSRs) are discounts that lower the amount of your deductibles, copayments and coinsurance for health insurance plans purchased through the Marketplace. These subsidies are typically only available for Silver level plans. 

The income limit to qualify for CSR subsidies is 250% of the federal poverty level, which is outlined in the chart below. The CSR subsidies use the 2021 federal poverty levels to determine eligibility for 2022 plans. 

Members of household 250% of 2021 federal poverty level

1

$32,200

2

$43,550

3

$54,900

4

$66,250

5

$77,600

6

$88,950

7

$100,300

8

$111,650

What Are the Medicaid Income Limits for 2022?

Medicaid uses a standard income eligibility limit of 138% of the federal poverty level. This is true for all states with expanded Medicaid except Wisconsin (which uses 100% of the federal poverty level) and the District of Columbia (which uses 215% of federal poverty level).

The Medicaid income eligibility chart below shows the income equivalent of 138% of the 2022 federal poverty level, which applies to the 36 states with expanded Medicaid.  

Members of household 138% of 2022 federal poverty level

1

$18,754

2

$25,268

3

$31,781

4

$38,295

5

$44,809

6

$51,322

7

$57,836

8

$64,349


For households with more than eight people, add $6,266 for each additional person. 

The following are the states that have not expanded Medicaid, which means you cannot qualify for Medicaid based on your income alone.

  • Alabama
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Kansas
  • Mississippi
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

The federal poverty levels used to determine CHIP eligibility can vary according to state, the age of the child and other factors. Medicaid.gov, the official website of Medicaid, has a chart showing the various federal poverty levels required for CHIP eligibility across all states

What Are the Federal Poverty Limits for Medicare Savings Programs?

A Medicare Savings Program (MSP) is designed for people who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid benefits and provides assistance with premiums, deductibles, copayments and coinsurance. Eligibility is based on income as a percentage of the federal poverty level along with certain assets. 

  • The Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) program uses a maximum of 100% of the federal poverty level to determine the income portion of its eligibility.

  • The Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB) program uses 101% to 120% of the federal poverty level.

  • The Qualifying Individual (QI) program uses 121% to 135% of the federal poverty level. 

  • The Qualified Disabled and Working Individuals (QDWI) program caps eligibility at 200% of the federal poverty level. 

What Are the Federal Poverty Limits for Other Programs?

There are some additional programs and benefits that use a percentage of the federal poverty level to determine eligibility. These include:

  • Community Service Block Grant (CSBG) funded programs = 100% to 125% of federal poverty level

  • United Way Rent and Utility Assistance programs = 150% of federal poverty level

  • Employee Profit Sharing Plan (EPSP) = 150% of federal poverty level

  • Emergency Shelter Grant (ESG) programs = 150% of federal poverty level

What Is 200% of the Poverty Level?

To calculate your income as percentage of the federal poverty level, divide your household income by the federal poverty level assigned to your household size and then multiple by 100. 

As an example, let’s use a family of four in California with a household income of $50,000. According to the first chart above showing the 2022 federal poverty levels, a household of four is determined to be at the poverty level with an income of $27,750. 

  • 50,000 divided by 27,750 = 1.8
  • 8 multiplied by 100 = 180

The family of four would have an income of 180% of the federal poverty level. This family would not qualify for Medicaid or CHIP, but they would qualify for Marketplace insurance tax credits and CSR subsidies. 

What Is the Federal Poverty Level for 2023?

The 2023 federal poverty level will not be released until January of 2023. Those levels will be used immediately to determine eligibility for Medicaid and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program). But the 2022 federal poverty level will continue to be used to determine eligibility for premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions until health insurance open enrollment begins in the fall of 2023. 

Other Things to Know About the Federal Poverty Level and Benefit Eligibility 

There are some additional things to note about the federal poverty level and how it relates to eligibility for programs and benefits. 

  • In states that have expanded Medicaid, the income limit to qualify for premium tax credits and CSR subsidies begins at 139% of the federal poverty (where Medicaid eligibility ends). For states that do not have expanded Medicaid, eligibility begins at 100% of the federal poverty level.

  • If you are a recent immigrant who is not eligible for Medicaid due to your immigration status, your eligibility for federal premium tax credits extends to 0% of the federal poverty level ($0).

  • It’s typical for CHIP and Medicaid eligibility limits to be higher for children than for adults. It is therefore not uncommon for some households to have children who are eligible for CHIP or Medicaid while the parents are not.

If you have questions about your Medicaid options or how the federal poverty level affects your benefits, you can look up the phone number for your state Medicaid program by visiting Medicaid.gov.

You can also contact the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services at the contact information below:

Toll-Free: 877-267-2323
Local: 410-786-3000
TTY Toll-Free: 800-877-8339
TTY Local: 410-786-0727
Medicaid.gov Mailbox: Medicaid.gov@cms.hhs.gov

Christian Worstell
About the Author

Christian Worstell is a licensed insurance agent and a Senior Staff Writer for HelpAdvisor.com. He is passionate about helping people navigate the complexities of federal benefits and understand their coverage options.

His work has been featured in outlets such as VoxMSN, and The Washington Post, and he is a frequent contributor to health care and finance blogs.

Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He currently lives in Raleigh, NC.

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