Despite important accomplishments, Health Coverage Tax Credits (HCTCs) have been generally ineffective in providing health care to displaced workers, for several reasons: The credits are used by only 11 percent of eligible workers. The coverage for which credits may be used often leaves out the health care that workers need. When job loss is followed by a gap in coverage of 63 days or longer, plans can deny treatment of the worker’s known health problems. Moreover, many states offer only plans with high deductibles that make care unaffordable for workers with limited incomes. Also, such plans often exclude or severely limit such basic services as prescription drugs, maternity care, and treatment of mental illness. In some states, HCTC plans increase their premiums substantially for enrollees who are older, female, or have health problems. When a displaced worker turns 65 and qualifies for Medicare, the worker’s spouse loses HCTC, even if that spouse is too young for Medicare and has no other coverage. Fortunately, older health coverage programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program have already prevented or solved similar problems
To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.