Proposed Rule on Premium Tax Credits: Who's Eligible and How Much Will They Help?

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<p>This month, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Treasury Department issued guidelines to states on how to implement the new health insurance exchanges and expansions of affordable options for insurance coverage. In a <a href="/blog/2011/proposed-rule-premium-tax-credits-whos-eligible-and-how-much-will-they-help">new blog post</a>, Commonwealth Fund Vice President for Affordable Health Insurance Sara R. Collins, Ph.D., looks at the Treasury Department's proposed rule on eligibility for premium tax credits, which—by 2020—the Congressional Budget Office estimates will help 20 million people offset the cost of their health insurance.</p>
<p>In the blog, Collins reviews who is eligible for the credits, including employees of firms that offer coverage, and how much of the premium the tax credits will cover when they become available. </p>
<p>"Combined with the substantial expansion in Medicaid eligibility and new insurance market reforms, the premium tax credits will greatly improve the affordability and accessibility of insurance—for the first time creating a health system in which nearly everyone will have coverage," Collins says.</p>
<p>Given the expected increase in the costs of premiums and tax credits over time, Collins emphasizes that it will also be critical that state and federal policymakers fully implement the provisions in the law directly aimed at lowering the rate of growth in premiums, and overall health care costs, including premium rate review and an array of delivery system reforms. <br /></p>