News Column

Millions Eligible for Health Insurance Tax Credits

April 10, 2013

Staff Reports -- HispanicBusiness

health

Families USA this week published a report that identifies that in 2014 nearly 3 million Californians will be eligible for premium tax credits that will help them pay for health coverage.

The report, "Help Is at Hand: New Health Insurance Tax Credits in California" from the national health consumer nonprofit organization Families USA, includes county-by-county data, which reveal how many California families in different income brackets (ranging as high as $94,200 for a family of four) will soon be protected from having to spend more than a set percentage of their income for health coverage, according to a press release.

Families USA is a nonpartisan organization dedicated to the achievement of high-quality, affordable health care for all Americans.

Under the terms of the Affordable Care Act, these premium tax credits take effect in January 2014, following an enrollment process that begins in October of this year.

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The tax credits will be determined on a sliding scale based on income. Those with the lowest incomes will receive the largest tax credits, ensuring that those who need it most will get the greatest financial assistance, according to Families USA.

The tax credits will help Californians purchase health insurance that meets their specific needs in the new health insurance marketplace, sometimes called the exchange, which is being set up in the state. The tax credits will flow directly to the health plans in which families or individuals enroll, offsetting the total cost of plan premiums.

In terms of statewide eligibility for Californians, the report finds the following:

Nearly 3 million Californians will be eligible for new premium tax credits in 2014.
People with annual incomes between $47,100-$94,200 for a family of four -- that is, incomes between 200 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level -- will make up 52 percent of Californians eligible for the tax credits.
30 percent of eligible Californians will be white and non-Hispanic, 5 percent will be black and non-Hispanic, and 50 percent will be Hispanic.

"The tax credit subsidies are a game-changer," said Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA. "They will make health coverage affordable for huge numbers of uninsured families who would have been priced out of the health coverage and care they need."

The report provides the same data on eligibility for counties or county groupings, based on how data are presented by the U.S. Census Bureau, across the entire state.

The report also provides specific data on the employment status and age of eligible Californians, showing that an overwhelming number of those who will be eligible for tax credits will be in working families, and that young Californians (ages 18-34) make up a large proportion of those who will be eligible for assistance.

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