Nearly 418,000 South Carolinians Will Be Eligible for New Health Insurance Premium Tax Credits in 2014

Nearly 418,000 South Carolinians Will Be Eligible for New Health Insurance Premium Tax Credits in 2014

New Report Provides County-Specific Breakdown of Tax Credit Eligibility by Income, Age, Race and Ethnicity, Employment Status

Press Release: Families USA
Washington, D.C.— A report released today says that in 2014 nearly 418,000 South Carolinians will be eligible for premium tax credits that will help them pay for health coverage—a doorway to quality health care for individuals and families of all ages and of all racial and ethnic backgrounds across the state.
The report from the national health consumer organization Families USA includes county-by-county data, which reveal how many South Carolina families in different income brackets (ranging as high as $94,200 for a family of four) will soon be protected from having to spend more than a set percentage of their income for health coverage.
Under the terms of the Affordable Care Act, these premium tax credits take effect in January 2014, following an enrollment process that begins in October of this year. The tax credits will be determined on a sliding scale based on income. Those with the lowest incomes will receive the largest tax credits, ensuring that those who need it most will get the greatest financial assistance.
The tax credits will help South Carolinians purchase health insurance that meets their specific needs in the new health insurance marketplace, sometimes called the “exchange,” which is being set up in the state. The tax credits will flow directly to the health plans in which families or individuals enroll, offsetting the total cost of plan premiums.
In terms of statewide eligibility for South Carolinians, the report, “Help Is at Hand: New Health Insurance Tax Credits in South Carolina,” says:
  • Nearly 418,000 South Carolinians will be eligible for new premium tax credits in 2014.
  • People with annual incomes between $47,100 and $94,200 for a family of four (incomes between 200 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level), will make up about 55 percent of the South Carolinians eligible for the tax credits.
  • About 63 percent of the South Carolinians who will be eligible for the premium tax credits will be white and non-Hispanic, while about a quarter (about 26 percent) of the eligible South Carolinians will be black and non-Hispanic, and about 6.5 percent of the eligible South Carolinians will be Hispanic.
The report provides the same data on eligibility for counties or county groupings, based on how data are presented by the U.S. Census Bureau, across the entire state of South Carolina. For example:
  • In Charleston County, which includes the city of Charleston, approximately 32,380 South Carolinians will be eligible for the premium tax credit, and about 55 percent of those residents will be families with incomes between 200 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level. Approximately 60 percent of the eligible residents will be white, non-Hispanic, about 31 percent will be black, non-Hispanic, and about 5 percent will be Hispanic.
  • In Richland County, which includes the city of Columbia, 29,080 people will be eligible, and about 57 percent of those residents will be families with incomes between 200 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level. Approximately 44 percent of the eligible residents will be white, non-Hispanic, about 43 percent will be black, non-Hispanic, and about 7 percent will be Hispanic.
  • In York County, which includes Rock Hill, 19,800 South Carolinians will be eligible for the premium tax credit, and about 57 percent of those residents will be families with incomes between 200 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level. Approximately 71 percent of the eligible residents will be white, non-Hispanic, about 17 percent will be black, non-Hispanic, and about 6 percent will be Hispanic.
The report also provides specific data on the employment status and age of eligible South Carolinians, showing that an overwhelming number of those who will be eligible for tax credits will be in working families, and that young South Carolinians (ages 18-34) make up a large proportion of those who will be eligible for assistance.
“The tax credit subsidies are a game-changer: They will make health coverage affordable for huge numbers of uninsured families who would have been priced out of the health coverage and care they need,” said Ron Pollack, Executive Director of Families USA.
The full report, “Help Is at Hand: New Health Insurance Tax Credits in South Carolina,” is available online at http://familiesusa2.org/assets/pdfs/premium-tax-credits/South-Carolina.pdf
Families USA is the national organization for health care consumers. It is nonprofit and nonpartisan, and its mission is to secure high-quality, affordable health coverage and care for all Americans.