HCTC: Eligibility Requirements and How to Receive the HCTC
The Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC) can help you stay covered.
The HCTC pays 72.5% of qualified health insurance premiums making health insurance more affordable for you and your family. This page helps you determine your eligibility and explains how you can receive the HCTC.
Can I receive the HCTC?
To receive for the HCTC, you must:
1. Meet the candidate requirements. Specifically, you must be one of the following:
- An eligible Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), Alternative TAA(ATAA), or Reemployment TAA (RTAA) recipient. An eligible TAA recipient is someone who receives a Trade Readjustment Allowance (TRA) or is in an approved break in training, or receives Unemployment Insurance (UI) in lieu of TRA, while otherwise eligible for TRA. TAA recipients also must meet eligibility deadlines for enrollment in TAA approved training or receive a written waiver to maintain HCTC eligibility.
- A Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) payee who is 55 years old or older.
- A qualified family member of an individual who fell under one of the categories listed above at the time of Medicare enrollment, death, or divorce. For information on establishing HCTC eligibility and how to claim the HCTC if you are a family member, please see the qualified family members page.
2. Meet general requirements. You meet the general requirements for the HCTC if the following statements are true for every month you want to receive the tax credit:
- You are covered by a qualified plan for which you pay more than 50% of the premiums.
- You are not enrolled in Medicare Part A, B, C; or you are enrolled in Medicare but only claiming premiums for your qualified family members.
- You are not enrolled in Medicaid, or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
- You are not enrolled in Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) or eligible to received benefits under the U.S. military health system (TRICARE).
- You are not in prison under federal, state, or local authority.
- You cannot be claimed as a dependent on someone else's federal income tax return.
If you are a TAA recipient or PBGC payee, you will receive an HCTC Eligibility Kit in the mail. The kit includes an HCTC Eligibility Certificate and an HCTC Eligibility Guide. Please note that it can take some time for the HCTC Program to receive your eligibility information from either the state or the PBGC following a trade certification or pension trusteeship. If you believe you are a candidate for the HCTC but have not received an Eligibility Kit, you can contact the HCTC Customer Contact Center toll-free at 1-866-628-HCTC (4282).
How can I receive the HCTC?
Individuals can receive the HCTC two ways: monthly or yearly.
The Monthly HCTC helps individuals pay for health insurance premiums each month, as their premiums become due. If you are a current participant, please visit the HCTC Information for Monthly Participants page for additional information. Monthly participants can also claim the Yearly HCTC for months during which they were not enrolled or the HCTC Program did not make a payment to their Health Plan Administrator.
Please note: The HCTC Program expires January 1, 2014, and therefore is no longer accepting new registration forms for individuals or qualified family members who wish to be enrolled into the monthly HCTC program. If you are not already enrolled, please follow the instructions below to claim the Yearly HCTC on your federal income tax return.
With the Yearly HCTC, individuals pay for their health insurance premiums in full each month and receive the 72.5% credit as a refund or credit towards year-end taxes by filing Form 8885 with their federal income tax return.
If you believe you are eligible and would like to learn more about claiming the Yearly HCTC, please visit the HCTC Information for Yearly Filers page.
How can I learn more?
If you are a retiree with questions about your pension benefit, please contact the PBGC at 1-800-400-7242. If you are a worker who has petitioned for trade certification and would like to know your trade-affected status, please contact the Department of Labor at 1-877-872-5627. If you have already been trade certified and would like to begin receiving TAA benefits, please contact your local One-Stop Career Center or unemployment office.
Return to the HCTC Program home page.