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Many Low-Income Floridians Eligible for Help Paying Health Insurance Premiums

Florida’s announcement this week of its proposed 2014 health insurance rates for its individual insurance market garnered plenty of attention.  But, it’s also worth noting that, under health reform, many low- and moderate-income Floridians could be eligible for new federal tax credits in 2014 that would help reduce the premiums they would otherwise pay to insurance companies.

Of the roughly 1 million non-elderly people who had coverage in Florida’s individual insurance market in 2011, 45 percent were in the income range eligible for premium subsidies, according to our analysis of Census data.  That includes more than ­­­­200,000 non-elderly Floridians with incomes between the poverty level and two times the poverty level, where the tax credits are the most generous.

The share of premium-eligible Floridians is even greater among those who lack health insurance.  Florida is among the states with the highest rates of uninsured residents, and more than two million non-elderly Floridians who lacked health coverage in 2011 had incomes in the premium tax credit eligibility range (see chart).  And about half of those people — more than 1 million — had incomes that would qualify them for the most generous federal subsidies.