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April 17, 2017, 07:41:44 AM

Portman, Brown Demand Answers From IRS Commissioner on Missed Deadline for Health Coverage Tax Credit

April 13, 2016 - 10:09 AM

Washington, D.C. –Today, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), members of the Finance Committee, demanded IRS Commissioner John A. Koskinen address the potential failure of the IRS to meet the statutory deadline to implement the Health Coverage Tax Credit’s (HCTC) advance monthly payment (AMP) program -- a program vitally important to Delphi salaried retirees struggling to maintain affordable health care.

“For many Ohio Delphi retirees, this tax credit helps provide affordable health insurance. Now many retirees find themselves with health coverage they may not be able to afford,” said Portman. “Retirees deserve an explanation on why IRS pulled the rug out from under them with so little notice. I will continue to work with Senator Brown to ensure these retirees get the help they need.” 

“The IRS owes Ohio’s Delphi retirees an explanation as to why help they were promised won’t be there when they need it to buy health insurance. Many retirees are locked into plans they may not be able to afford without the Health Coverage Tax Credit,” said Brown. “HCTC is a lifeline for retirees and I hope the IRS will work with Senator Portman and me to get this program up and running for Ohioans who need it.”

The HCTC helps trade-affected workers and select groups of retirees, like Delphi salaried retirees and their families, purchase private health coverage to replace the employer-sponsored coverage they lost. It makes health insurance more affordable by providing a 72.5 percent refundable tax credit to eligible workers enrolled in a qualified health plan, allowing these people to pay only a portion of their qualified health insurance. The HCTC serves as an important bridge for retirees who are still too young to be eligible for Medicare benefits.

Portman and Brown have long championed this issue, which is critical to the 5,000 Ohio Delphi salaried retirees and their families stretching from the Mahoning Valley to the Miami Valley.

In February 2015, Portman and Brown introduced a bill to extend the Health Coverage Tax Credit for five years, through 2019. This legislation was signed into law in the Trade Preferences Extension Act.  Section 407 of the law specifically requires the IRS to implement the Advance Payment Program within one year of the bill becoming law – June 29, 2016. 

Just last month, Portman and Brown issued a joint statement expressing their disappointment in the IRS’s failure to meet their deadline.

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