HCTC: Latest News and Background
The Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC) pays 72.5% of qualified health insurance premiums for eligible individuals and their families. Read on to find out the latest updates for the HCTC Program and learn more about what the HCTC Program can do for you. For information on who is eligible to receive the HCTC, go to the eligibility requirements page.
There are no updates for the HCTC Program at this time. Please see the Trade Adjustment Assistance Extension Act of 2011 page for information about the most recent changes to the HCTC Program, which occurred on October 21, 2011.
Overview and Background:
The HCTC makes health insurance more affordable for trade-affected workers, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) payees, and their families by paying 72.5% of health insurance premiums. The HCTC is available on a monthly basis to help you pay for health insurance as you go, or on a yearly basis when you file your federal income tax return.
Once registered for the monthly HCTC program, you'll pay 27.5% of your premium, we'll add 72.5%, and then we'll send the full 100% to your health plan for you. This cycle repeats every month until you are no longer enrolled in the program. The HCTC Program partners with various federal and state agencies and Health Plan Administrators (HPAs) to deliver the tax credit to eligible individuals.
History and Purpose of the HCTC:
Described by some participants as “a lifesaver,” the Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC) is a federally funded tax credit that allows individuals to pay only a portion of their qualified health insurance. Nationwide, thousands of people are candidates for the program. Some of them are displaced workers who are certified by the Department of Labor as eligible to receive Trade Readjustment Allowances under the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program. Others are eligible because they receive benefits from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) and are 55 years old or older.
Congress understood that losing one's health coverage could be as distressing as losing one's job or having one's pension taken over. The purpose of the HCTC is to make health coverage more affordable for these groups of people who otherwise might not be insured. Please see below for a timeline of the HCTC Program.
- In 2002, the HCTC began as a ground breaking tax credit program.
- In August 2003, the HCTC was first made available on a monthly basis.
- In May 2009, benefits were expanded as a result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). These benefits were set to expire on December 31, 2010.
- In December 2010, Congress passed a short term extension of the changes made to the HCTC by the ARRA. These provisions expired on February 13, 2011.
- In October 2011, benefits were once again expanded by the Trade Adjustment Assistance Act of 2011.
The HCTC Program continually makes operational improvements to better administer this pioneering tax credit.
Return to the HCTC Program home page.
Go to the HCTC Quick References page to view a glossary of terms, frequently asked questions, and additional resources.
For more information, please contact us.