Short Takes On News & Events

17 Million People Eligible For Premium Subsidies, Study Finds

By Mary Agnes Carey

November 5th, 2013, 5:15 AM

Seventeen million people who are now uninsured or who buy their own health insurance will be eligible for tax credits next year to help purchase coverage on the health law’s online marketplaces or exchanges, according to an analysis released Tuesday.

More than a third of those people live in just three states: California with nearly 2 million, Texas with 2 million and Florida with 1.6 million. These states have the highest numbers of uninsured residents and the largest number eligible for tax credits, the Kaiser Family Foundation reported. (KHN is an editorially independent program of the foundation).

A separate study from the McKinsey Center for U.S. Health System Reform found that across the country, 6 million to 7 million people may be eligible to use their federal subsidy to cover the entire premium of the lowest priced plan on the exchange, called a bronze plan. Premiums for bronze plans are the least expensive, but they require greater out-of-pocket costs, such as co-payments for services.

The Kaiser Family Foundation analysis estimates that 29 million people could potentially purchase coverage on the exchanges. In some states the impact could be substantial. In Alaska, 71 percent would be eligible; in Louisiana, 70 percent. Mississippi and South Carolina are close behind, at 68 percent. In Texas, 65 percent of residents would be eligible.

To qualify for credits, individuals must earn between 100 and 400 percent of the poverty level (between $23,550 and $94,200 annually for a family of four) and not be eligible for affordable coverage from an employer or from Medicare or Medicaid. Individuals who are in the country illegally or who are in jail are not eligible for the credits.

The amount of tax credit that eligible people can receive depends on several factors, including their family income and the cost of insurance where they live. People receiving tax credits must pay between 2 and 9.5 percent of income toward the premium.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that 7 million people will enroll in exchanges in 2014 and of that number, 6 million will be eligible to receive tax credits. The  Kaiser analysis found that about a quarter of potential exchange enrollees would choose to participate in the first year of the health law, with a slightly higher proportion of people eligible for tax credits (35 percent) buying coverage in an exchange.

CBO projects the number of people receiving tax credits in exchanges will triple by 2016.

9 Responses to “17 Million People Eligible For Premium Subsidies, Study Finds”

  1. margie says:

    Amazing! This statement alone says it all…

    “The Kaiser Family Foundation analysis estimates that 29 million people could potentially purchase coverage on the exchanges. In some states the impact could be substantial. In Alaska, 71 percent would be eligible; in Louisiana, 70 percent. Mississippi and South Carolina are close behind, at 68 percent. In Texas, 65 percent of residents would be eligible.”

    Simply Amazing! The very states that stand to gain the most from the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are the exact same states that are fighting it tooth and nail. By embracing the ACA, the Ted Cruz types in the Texas Congressional delegation could lift their residents out of the dark ages of healthcare poverty and make sure that many more Texans can get the healthcare they so desperately need. Yet, Texas voters keep electing healthcare Neanderthals to Congress. Do the politicians down there put something in the water supply?

  2. Larry Abbiatti says:

    Simply Amazing – Please just report the facts, we can develop our own opinions.

  3. Fernando says:

    This article is filled with the same lofty ideas and rhetoric that President Obama and his supports were saying for years leading up to the passage of this law. Yet now we know that all of that info was not true and purposefully misleading. This article is just filled with too much subjective information and very short on facts. Obviously this article was written with a very bias tilt.

  4. killroy71 says:

    Larry and Fernando – please identify the biased passages in this article. You’re entitled to your own opinions but not your own facts. These are facts, like ‘em or not.

  5. margie says:

    They hate when facts get in the way and ruin a perfectly good talking point.

  6. pistolpete44 says:

    Margie, amazing is the president and many senators had to lie about many parts of this.

  7. Nancy says:

    Obama is, and always was, a pathological liar. As of today, Nov. 5, he is still insisting that we may keep our health care policies and doctors, if we have them. I’m on Medicare, and have supplemental insurance. If that is cancelled, I have no intention of buying into the new act. Our annual income is so low since my husband was laid off a short while ago, that we cannot afford it. We probably won’t get a tax refund anyway, which precludes the necessity to buy into that debacle. Also, why is there no hoopla over the fact that the Supreme Court, on declaring that the health act was acceptable, said that there must be no penalty attached? Why is no one making a stink about that, or, does Obama hope that, if no one notices that fact, it will all go away—the way he does with everything else?

  8. Ken says:

    I kept my health insurance and I kept my doctor, just like the President promised. Oh, by the way, my rates went up…as usual. Anti-Obamacare types like to blame everything on President Obama and the Affordable Care Act. The toilet is clogged! It’s Obama’s fault! My car won’t start! it’s Obama’s fault! Do you want a perfect example of how completely stupid people are about Obamacare and who it effects, try this! Nancy says she’s on Medicare and she thinks she’s getting canceled. Is that insanity or what?

  9. Ken says:

    Pistol Pete,

    Fact is, nobody lied. About 95 percent of Americans fall into one of the following categories…

    1. Uninsured
    2. Employer insured
    3. Medicare
    4. Medicaid

    Only 5 percent of Americans are in the individual health insurance market. A fraction of those in that 5 percent are underinsured and are seeing their policies raised to meet minimum standards. That means they will pay more because they will be getting much better benefits. Obamacare encourages them to join society and be responsible and carry their own weight or they can continue doing exactly what they have been doing. They have a choice. They can keep their old policy and their old doctor and pay more outside of the exchange or they can get a better deal in the exchange. If they hate Obama, like Nancy, they will probably refuse to join the exchange for ideological reasons and so they will cut their nose off to spite their face and they will continue to pay more in the outside market. Talk about stupid!

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