Few Eligible Californians Have Enrolled in Health Care Tax Credit Program
About 17,000 Californians who qualify for a federal health care tax credit have not signed up for the benefits, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The Internal Revenue Service oversees the Health Coverage Tax Credit program, which provides an average of $670 per month as an annual tax credit or as a direct payment to a health care provider.
Recipients can use the funds to help cover COBRA premiums. In California, participants also can use the credit to pay for Kaiser Permanente health plans.
Residents who qualify for the program include:
- Retirees ages 55 to 65 who receive pensions through the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., which insures retirement benefits after companies cancel them or go bankrupt; and
- Workers laid off because of international trade issues who are receiving benefits through the U.S. Department of Labor's Trade Adjustment Assistance Program.
People enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program are not eligible for the tax credit.
Across the country, less than one-third of potentially eligible residents are receiving benefits through the program.
IRS officials are planning meetings in California and other states in an effort to increase awareness of the health care tax benefits. So far, the agency has failed to bring in large crowds for the meetings (Olivarez-Giles, Los Angeles Times, 2/12).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.