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Patrick Springer, Published April 20 2013

Some will be eligible for health insurance subsidies

FARGO – More than 69,000 North Dakotans and 459,000 Minnesotans will be eligible for premium tax credit subsidies to make health insurance more affordable next year under the Affordable Care Act.

In both states, nine of 10 who are eligible for the credits are working families, with full- or part-time jobs, according to the study by Families USA, an advocacy group that supports the health reform law.

Many of those who will be eligible for the credits are young adults between the ages of 18 and 34 – almost 41 percent in North Dakota and almost 38 percent in Minnesota, according to the analysis.

The subsidies are available on a sliding income scale, awarding greater credits to those with lower incomes.

The credits will be available starting Jan. 1, 2014, on a sliding eligibility scale for those whose incomes are between 138 percent and 400 percent of federal poverty levels.

That would be between $15,860 and $45,960 for an individual, and between $32,500 and $94,200 for a family of four.

A person earning 138 percent of poverty would contribute 3.3 percent of his or her income to health insurance, and receive a premium tax credit of $4,480, according to figures from Families USA.

Similarly, a family of four with income of 400 percent would contribute up to 9.5 percent of income and receive a premium tax credit of $3,550, according to the study.

In Cass County, 14,690 residents will be eligible for the premium tax credit, a majority of them with incomes between 200 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level.

A figure was not available for Clay County, but the study grouped Clay with seven other northwestern Minnesota counties that together have 13,770 eligible residents, according to the study.

Premium tax credits for those who are eligible will flow to the health plan, not directly to the eligible individual or family. The credits will be available when the person enrolls in the plan – so families will not have to wait until their taxes have been filed and processed to receive the benefit.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Patrick Springer at (701) 241-5522