Provision in Health Care Bill Qualifies Thousands for Tax Credit

PATRICK/DELAHUNT: RETIREE HEALTH CARE JUST GOT A BIT MORE AFFORDABLE

Provision in Landmark Health Care Bill Qualifies Thousands for Federal Tax Credit

BOSTON - Representative Matthew C. Patrick (D-Falmouth) and US Congressman William Delahunt today announced changes to state law that will make it easier for certain retirees to continue with affordable health care coverage.

Until now, Massachusetts residents could be denied health coverage by insurers if they had a pre-existing condition exclusions for a period of up to 6 months. This provision of state law hit retirees particularly hard. Many had their health coverage terminated as a result of corporate bankruptcy.

â??This is an important provision for my constituents and Iâ??m grateful for the cooperation of the conferees.â?
  - Matt Patrick
Patrick authored legislation that brings the state in compliance with the federal Health Coverage Tax Credit passed by Congress in 2002. Under federal law, taxpayers can claim a credit for two thirds of their health care premiums if their company's pension obligations had been taken over by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

The Patrick legislation was inserted into the Health Care Reform Act, signed into law by Governor Romney this week.

Rep. Patrick said, â??This is an important provision for my constituents and Iâ??m grateful for the cooperation of the conferees. Congressman Delahunt helped make us aware of the need for this legislation and he deserves a large part of the credit.â?

After receiving numerous calls from constituents complaining that they were unable to make use of the federal Health Coverage Tax Credit Program here in Massachusetts, Delahunt reached out to colleagues within the State legislature, including Representative Patrick, who collaboratively addressed this loophole in the law. "This is a great example of how federal and state officials can work together toward the goal of affordable healthcare", Delahunt said. "Providing answers to peoples' everyday concerns - including mounting health care costs - is vital for us as a government. We owe our constituents no less."

From the office of Representative Matt Patrick, 617-722-2090 or [email protected].

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