Nearly 69,000 Alaskans Will Be Eligible for New Health Insurance Premium Tax Credits in 2014
New Report Provides County-Specific Breakdown of Tax Credit Eligibility by Income, Age, Race and Ethnicity, Employment Status
Washington, D.C.— A report released today says that in 2014 nearly 69,000 Alaskans will be eligible for premium tax credits that will help them pay for health coverage—a doorway to quality health care for individuals and families of all ages and of all racial and ethnic backgrounds across the state.
The report from the national health consumer organization Families USA includes county-by-county data, which reveal how many Alaska families in different income brackets (ranging as high as $117,760 for a family of four) will soon be protected from having to spend more than a set percentage of their income for health coverage.
Under the terms of the Affordable Care Act, these premium tax credits take effect in January 2014, following an enrollment process that begins in October of this year. The tax credits will be determined on a sliding scale based on income. Those with the lowest incomes will receive the largest tax credits, ensuring that those who need it most will get the greatest financial assistance.
The tax credits will help Alaskans purchase health insurance that meets their specific needs in the new health insurance marketplace, sometimes called the “exchange,” which is being set up in the state. The tax credits will flow directly to the health plans in which families or individuals enroll, offsetting the total cost of plan premiums.
In terms of statewide eligibility for Alaskans, the report, “Help Is at Hand: New Health Insurance Tax Credits in Alaska,” says:
* Nearly 69,000 Alaskans will be eligible for new premium tax credits in 2014.
* People with annual incomes between $58,880 and $117,760 for a family of four (incomes between 200 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level), will make about six in ten (about 60 percent) of the Alaskans eligible for the tax credits.
* About 58 percent of the Alaskans who will be eligible for the premium tax credits will be white and non-Hispanic, while 3 percent of the eligible Alaskans will be black and non-Hispanic, and about 9 percent of the eligible Alaskans will be Hispanic. About 30 percent of eligible Alaskans will be other races, identifying themselves as being American Indian, Aleut or Eskimo, Asian or Pacific Islander, or a member of more than one group.
The report provides the same data on eligibility for counties or county groupings, based on how data are presented by the U.S. Census Bureau, across the entire state of Alaska. For example:
* In Anchorage Borough, which includes the city of Anchorage, approximately 23,410 Alaskans will be eligible for the premium tax credit, and about 63 percent of those residents will be families with incomes between 200 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level. Approximately 57 percent of the eligible residents will be white, non-Hispanic, about 5 percent will be black, non-Hispanic, about 14 percent will be Hispanic, and about 24 percent will be other races.
* In Kenai Peninsula and Matanuska-Susitna boroughs, which include the city of Wasilla, 15,410 people will be eligible, and about 56 percent of those residents will be families with incomes between 200 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level. Approximately 78.5 percent of the eligible residents will be white, non-Hispanic, about 0.2 percent will be black, non-Hispanic, about 6 percent will be Hispanic, and about 15 percent will be other races.
* In the Census Bureau county cluster that contains Denali, Fairbanks North Star, Haines, Ketchikan Gateway, Southeast Fairbanks, and Valdez-Cordova boroughs, as well Sitka City and Borough and the cities of Juneau and Fairbanks, 16,890 Alaskans will be eligible for the premium tax credit, and about 66 percent of those residents will be families with incomes between 200 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level. Approximately 69 percent of the eligible residents will be white, non-Hispanic, about 3 percent will be black, non-Hispanic, about 8 percent will be Hispanic, and about 21 percent will be other races.
The report also provides specific data on the employment status and age of eligible Alaskans, showing that an overwhelming number of those who will be eligible for tax credits will be in working families, and that young Alaskans (ages 18-34) make up a large proportion of those who will be eligible for assistance.
“The tax credit subsidies are a game-changer: They will make health coverage affordable for huge numbers of uninsured families who would have been priced out of the health coverage and care they need,” said Ron Pollack, Executive Director of Families USA.
The full report, “Help Is at Hand: New Health Insurance Tax Credits in Alaska,” is available online at http://familiesusa2.org/
Families USA is the national organization for health care consumers. It is nonprofit and nonpartisan, and its mission is to secure high-quality, affordable health coverage and care for all Americans.