Report: About 3.5M Californians Could Obtain Health Tax Credits

About 3.5 million Californians could be eligible for federal tax credits to reduce their health insurance costs when they purchase coverage through the state's health insurance exchange, according to a new report from the advocacy group Families USA, the Los Angeles Times reports (Helfand, Los Angeles Times, 10/5).

Background

Last week, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) signed legislation (AB 1602 and SB 900) to lay the foundation for the California Health Benefit Exchange. The federal health care reform law calls for the creation of such exchanges to offer a marketplace of health insurance options for individuals and small businesses (California Healthline, 10/1).

The reform law also includes tax credits to help offset a portion of premium costs for low- and middle-income residents who obtain coverage through state-based health insurance exchanges.

Tax Credits in California

In California, about 3,473,000 residents would be eligible for the tax credit, including about 1,741,200 residents who currently lack health insurance, according to the Families USA report (Amaro, Merced Sun-Star, 10/6).

Of the Californians who would qualify for the credit, about 94% would come from families with at least one employed person, the group said.

The report estimated that the tax credits in California will be worth about $13.8 billion in 2014 (Los Angeles Times, 10/5).

Robert Forster
Just heard the rumor that checks will be written to those for the tsx credit amount IF they don't pay any tax. If true, insanity reigns again. When at home tonight, I am going to kick my dog. Is there a dog health exchange?
Robert Forster
Mir Ted-you are perfectly correct and insightful. But our "collective" population and administration desires access without responsibility--and who cares about our national debt? It is intentional pushing us further into a middle european model. It is all about being re-elected and ideology. Problem solvers apparently avoid our political process. We should as a compassionate society protect the vulnerables, but the clueless have made choices they need to be accountable for. Canada and Germany are looking better every day. Rob MD
MIR TED
Since most low-to-midddle income filers pay little-to-no tax, what would be the benefit of the tax credit? Could it be accumulated for a number of years to offset a year where the income is taxable? Since Govt. spends in excess of it's receipts, who makes up the difference of the "$13.8bn"? If the result is a decrease in participation in private health-care, what is the effect on those they lay off? Further, how does this control the cost of healthcare? It appears to just shift it to others. Govt. should quit trying the "smoke and mirrors" approach and tell people reality.

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