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Press release
April 2, 2013

More than 1.5 Million New Yorkers 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, and Employment Status

Washington, D.C.— A report released today says that in 2014, approximately 1.5 million New Yorkers 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 New York families in different income brackets (ranging as high as $94,200 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 open enrollment period that begins in October of this year. The tax credits will be determined on a sliding scale based on income. People 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 New Yorkers 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, the report, "Help Is at Hand: New Health Insurance Tax Credits in New York," says:

  • More than 1.5 million New Yorkers will be eligible for new premium tax credits in 2014.
  • People with annual incomes between $47,100 and $94,200 for a family of four (incomes between 200 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level) will make up more than six in 10 (about 61 percent) of the New Yorkers eligible for the tax credits.
  • About half (49 percent) of the New Yorkers who will be eligible for the premium tax credits will be white, non-Hispanics; while about 15 percent of the eligible New Yorkers will be black, non-Hispanics; and about 26 percent of the eligible New Yorkers will be Hispanic.

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 New York. For example:

  • In New York City (which includes Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens, and Richmond Counties), approximately 736,940 New Yorkers will be eligible for the premium tax credit, and about 60 percent of those residents will be families with incomes between 200 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level. Approximately 24.5 percent of the eligible residents will be white, non-Hispanics; about 21 percent will be black, non-Hispanics; and about 39 percent will be Hispanic.
  • In Erie County, which includes Buffalo, about 63,640 people will be eligible, and about 60 percent of those residents will be families with incomes between 200 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level. Approximately 74 percent of the eligible residents will be white, non-Hispanics; about 14 percent will be black, non-Hispanics; and about 7 percent will be Hispanic.
  • In Albany County, which includes the city of Albany, about 17,750 New Yorkers 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 72 percent of the eligible residents will be white, non-Hispanics; about 12 percent will be black, non-Hispanics; and about 7 percent will be Hispanic.

The report also provides specific data on the employment status and age of eligible New Yorkers, showing that an overwhelming number of those who will be eligible for premium tax credits will be in working families, and that young New Yorkers (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.