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).
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).