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Most Texans Who Enrolled in Obamacare Plan Received Tax Subsidy

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KUT News
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than 85 percent of consumers in Texas qualified for a tax credit of about $240 dollars a month to reduce their 2015 premiums.

In a challenge to the Affordable Care Act heard recently by the Supreme Court, King v. Burwell, the argument was that people who bought health coverage on a federal exchange, like the one in Texas, cannot qualify for a tax credit to make the monthly premium cheaper. That's because of wording in the health care law that challengers of the legislation say only allows the IRS to give tax credits to people on a state exchange.

While that battle plays out in Washington, the federal government has released numbers this week showing how many people are receiving tax credits.

In Texas, 57 percent of new consumers, or 686,949 people, did not have a plan through the marketplace as of November 2014. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) says more than 85 percent of consumers in Texas qualified for a tax credit of about $240 dollars a month to reduce the monthly premium.

Dr. Meena Seshamani, director of the health reform office at HHS says many consumers are paying less than the monthly cost of a cell phone.

The data tell "a story of health coverage consumers rely on for financial and health security, and for coverage they don’t want to lose," she says. 

All together, about 1,205,174 Texans signed up for health insurance through the federal marketplace by Feb. 22, 2015, including those who were re-enrolled in their 2014 plan.

The Supreme Court’s expected to rule by June on whether any Texans can keep their subsidies. 

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