Starting in 2014, individuals and families can take a new medical premium tax credit to help them afford health insurance coverage purchased through a state-based Health Insurance Marketplace.
How much is the tax credit?
The credit amount is generally equal to the difference between the premium for the benchmark plan and the taxpayer’s expected contribution.
•The expected contribution is a specified percentage of the taxpayer’s household income. The percentage increases as income increases, from 2% of income for families at 100% of the FPL to 9.5% of income for families at 400% of FPL.
•The benchmark plan is the second-lowest-cost plan that would cover the family at the “silver” level of coverage.
Are there any special rules?
Yes – the credit is advanceable (i.e. advance payments are made directly to the insurance company on the family’s behalf). The advance payments are then reconciled against the amount of the family’s actual premium tax credit, as calculated on the family’s federal income tax return.
4 Key Facts About The Medical Premium Tax Credit
Broad Middle-Class Eligibility
The premium tax credit is generally available to individuals and families with incomes between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that, when the Affordable Care Act is fully phased in, the premium tax credit will help 20 million Americans afford health insurance.
Larger Tax Credits for Older Americans who Face Higher Premiums
The amount of the premium tax credit is tied to the amount of the premium, so that older Americans who face higher premiums will receive a greater credit.
The Tax Credit Controls Health Care Costs by Incentivizing Families to Choose More Cost-Effective Coverage
The amount of the premium tax credit is generally fixed based on a benchmark plan (which may be age adjusted within Affordable Care Act limitations), so families that choose to purchase coverage that is less expensive than the benchmark plan will pay less towards the cost of that coverage.
The Credit Is Refundable So Even Families with Modest Incomes Can Benefit
The premium tax credit is fully refundable, so even moderate-income families who may have little federal income tax liability (but who may pay a higher share of their income towards payroll taxes and other taxes) can receive the full benefit of the credit.
*Modified from ZaneBenefits.com article