By John M. Gonzales, CHCF Center for Health Reporting
If you’re among millions of uninsured Californians eligible for government-subsidized insurance, the ripples of health reform start with Monday’s tax deadline.
First, the government will use your return this year as its first yardstick for how much of a subsidy or tax break it contributes to your health coverage next year. And second, if you don’t have health insurance a year from now, a penalty will be added to your federal tax bill.
These are among ways the federal tax code will increasingly be at the forefront of health reform’s implementation. Other provisions are also kicking in as the countdown continues toward full operation of the Affordable Care Act on Jan. 1.
The provision that will provide the biggest boost to taxpayers is the one that offers subsidies for uninsured people who obtain coverage through new insurance exchanges.
“It’s a tremendous deal for the people who are currently uninsured,” said Larry Levitt, senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation. Continue reading