Study: 26M will be eligible for ‘game changer’ ObamaCare subsidies

via The Hill

Nearly 26 million people will be eligible for tax credits next year to help them purchase health insurance through ObamaCare’s new state marketplaces, according to a new study.

The figures from liberal advocacy group Families USA shed light on the future reach of one of healthcare reform’s central provisions.

The subsidies are designed to make health insurance affordable for less wealthy individuals and families. Most people will be required to have coverage starting next year or face fines.

“The tax credit subsidies are a game changer,” Families USA Executive Director Ron Pollack told reporters on a conference call. “They will make health coverage affordable for a huge number of uninsured families who would have been priced out of the coverage they need.”

Starting in January, tax credits will be available to individuals and families earning up to four times the federal poverty level, or about $46,000 and $94,200 annually, to offset the cost of health insurance premiums.

People without insurance will be able to purchase it in new state and federally run marketplaces, where those tax credits will flow directly to plans they choose.

According to Families USA, 88 percent of those eligible for tax credits will be working families.

The Obama administration is facing tough questions about its implementation of the law and the public’s understanding of the new rules.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) told the top Obama health official Wednesday that he fears a “train wreck” will occur as the law’s major provisions take effect next year.

“For the marketplaces to work, people need to know about them,” Baucus told Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a hearing. “People need to know their options and how to enroll.”

Pollack said Thursday that his group’s study should help ordinary people understand how they might benefit from the Affordable Care Act

“There is concern that a lot of people who are potentially eligible for these tax credit premiums subsidies may not know about it and if they don’t know about it, they may not decide to get enrolled,” Pollack said. “We want to make sure that in states across the country, people are aware that help is potentially on the way.”

The report was written by members of the Families USA staff using data from The Lewin Group.

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