Portman, Brown: Unacceptable that IRS to Miss Deadline for Health Coverage Tax Credit
March 30, 2016 - 1:17 PM
Washington, D.C. –
Today, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio)
released the following joint statement on the IRS’s announcement that it
would not meet the statutory deadline to implement the Health Coverage
Tax Credit’s (HCTC) advance monthly payment (AMP) program.
“The IRS’s failure to meet the legal
deadline to implement the HCTC’s advance payment program is entirely
unacceptable. Many of our constituents have already had to take out home
equity lines of credit, withdraw money from retirement accounts early,
or take other extraordinary measures to pay for health insurance while
the IRS gets the AMP program up and running. Giving these taxpayers
little notice that they won’t be receiving any premium assistance for
the second half of the year—when many are already locked into health
insurance plans with set payments—is unfair. We are committed to working
with the IRS to examine and implement available options to get the AMP
program running on time for as many participants as possible.”
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.
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
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