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April 17, 2017, 07:41:44 AM

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.

Portman and Brownhave long championedthisissue, 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.

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