The IRS re-implemented the health coverage tax credit (HCTC). This is a refundable tax credit that individuals can claim equal to the portion of premiums paid for COBRA or other qualified health insurance coverage. The credit had expired on January 1, 2014. It may be available to certain individuals eligible for a pension benefit or eligible for coverage under the Trade Adjustment Assistance Act.
The credit is now reinstated (retroactively) and extended through 2019. Newly released guidance provides information on the revised HCTC and the relationship between the HCTC and the premium tax credit available under health care reform.
- Qualified health coverage for the HCTC includes COBRA coverage and coverage offered through a health care Exchange.
- Individuals must affirmatively elect to claim the HCTC.
- An individual can claim the HCTC or a premium tax credit through the Exchange, but not both.
COBRA notices should be revised to reflect the reinstated HCTC.