More than 1 million Illinois residents will be eligible for tax credits to offset the cost of health insurance starting in 2014, according to an estimate released Tuesday by a liberal advocacy group.
CHICAGO (AP) — More than 1 million Illinois residents will be eligible for tax credits to offset the cost of health insurance starting in 2014, according to an estimate released Tuesday by a liberal advocacy group. Families USA released the estimate in a report on how the new national health law may affect Illinois. Tax breaks will reduce Illinoisans’ federal income taxes that year by nearly $4 billion, the report said. The size of an individual’s tax credit will be based on family income, with more money going to those with lower incomes. Although more money goes to the poorest, most people who qualify will be in working families in Illinois, the report said. Seventy-one percent of those eligible for the tax credits will have annual incomes at or above twice the federal poverty level. For this year, 200 percent of the poverty level is $44,100 for a family of four. The new law sets maximum premium contributions based on family income. For example, the maximum premium a family at 200 percent of poverty would pay for health coverage would be $232 a month. Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, characterized the tax credits as "the largest middle-income tax cut in history." About 60 percent of Illinoisans who qualify for the tax credits will already have health insurance. The rest will be uninsured. The tax credits will be financed by the federal government, and illegal immigrants won’t be eligible. The new national health law will require nearly all Americans to buy health insurance, starting in 2014. Families USA has been a proponent of the law, the Affordable Care Act. The analysis was done by the Lewin Group consulting firm. Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.