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Jeff Cercone
By Jeff Cercone April 18, 2024

Facebook post promises health subsidy in cash, but Affordable Care Act credits don’t work that way

If Your Time is short

  • The website linked in this Facebook post is not affiliated with the government.

  • Affordable Care Act marketplace plans offer subsidies, but not in cash. Tax credits vary by income level and payments go to insurers, not consumers.

  • No spin, just facts you can trust. Here's how we do it.

A social media post claims the federal government is giving away more than $10,000 to low-income Americans. In fact, the government owes you that money, the post said.

"Exposing the secret worth THOUSANDS! Don't let them hide this any longer," an April 15 Facebook post’s caption said.

In the video, a narrator said, "Did you know that the government owes you $8,832?" 

The narrator says the government owes that amount to people ages 18 to 64 making less than $50,000, and they'll also get a $2,000 spending card. The money can be used for medical and personal expenses, he said.

The post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

But claims offering free government money are often not what they seem, the federal government has warned.

(Facebook screenshot)

The Facebook post linked to a website called, where a chatbot named "Emily from Subsidy Aid" awaits to ask if you want to find out if you qualify to unlock a "$6,400 health subsidy," a different figure than the $8,332 mentioned in the video. It said the subsidy can be used "to pay for your medical expenses and provide instant relief for rent, bills and groceries," and warns that enrollment ends at midnight.

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If the $6,400 figure sounds familiar to PolitiFact readers, it’s because we’ve seen these claims before. We have debunked two social media claims advertising $6,400. In December, one Facebook post said the government was giving away $6,400 monthly subsidies after an Inflation Reduction Act update from Congress. Another Facebook post in January also said Congress had passed a $6,400 subsidy for low-income people. 

A conversation with the chatbot revealed some red flags. After asking about our income and whether we were on Medicare and Medicaid, we received a telephone number. We called the number and reached an unnamed phone operator in Illinois. He said the subsidy was from Affordable Care Act plans. People with employer-provided health insurance didn’t qualify for the money, the operator said.

The website is not affiliated with the government and misleads about how government health insurance subsidies work. The government often subsidizes Affordable Care Act plans, but the government site does not mention specific dollar amounts — the subsidies hinge on a person’s income. 

The subsidies also provide no cash payments to Americans, but pay directly to insurance companies. The subsidies are available as premium tax credits, which can be paid in advance directly to recipients’ insurance companies, or can be claimed when recipients file their tax returns, KFF reported. Another subsidy is a cost-sharing reduction that lowers deductible, copayments and coinsurance under some Affordable Care Act plans. In neither case are the payments made directly to consumers. is the official website where consumers can sign up for the Affordable Care Act marketplace. Brokers and agents can also sign consumers up for a marketplace plan. It’s unclear whether the company behind are brokers and agents.

Open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act ended in January; it doesn’t end at midnight April 18 as the website in the Facebook post claims. 

The federal government has warned that offers of free money or grants from the government are often scams. Government-funded assistance programs are offered only through official government websites. The Federal Trade Commission offered tips for spotting scams, such as ones that offer government money to pay for personal expenses.

PolitiFact found no evidence the government is paying people $8,832 plus a $2,000 spending card. The claim is False.

Our Sources

Facebook post, April 15, 2024

KFF, Explaining Health Care Reform: Questions About Health Insurance Subsidies, Oct. 6, 2023, Saving money on health insurance, accessed April 18, 2024, Explore your health care options after Open Enrollment, accessed April 18, 2024, Agent and broker (health insurance), accessed April 18, 2024, Avoid 'free money' from the government scams, accessed April 18, 2024

Federal Trade Commission, Government Grant Scams, accessed April 18, 2024

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Facebook post promises health subsidy in cash, but Affordable Care Act credits don’t work that way

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