New Study: How to Help the Uninsured Now and Next Year


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Dear Friends & Colleagues,

New Study: How to Help the Uninsured Now and Next Year

Earlier today, Natalia Villacorta of
Politico posted an article entitled “Who will help the newly insured as consumer programs end?”*  She notes that federal funding for consumer assistance programs is time-limited, leaving many recently-insured and still-uninsured individuals without an advocate and assistance when the money run dry.  Will they be out of luck and left to fend for themselves?

Almost on cue, Stan Dorn and his colleagues at the Urban Institute released a new paper this afternoon that helps to answer precisely this question.*  Their modeling reveals a few fascinating statistics:
 

  • At least 74% of Americans eligible for help under the ACA file tax returns;
  • About 90% of those under age 35 who are eligible for qualified health plan subsidies are in households that file tax returns; and
  • Among that ACA’s target demographic (lower-income Americans), most file tax returns with the assistance of tax preparers.  For example, about 65% of filers receiving the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) file with the aid of tax preparers.

They conclude that “Tax preparers have the capacity to reach many uninsured, including most young adults who qualify for subsidies in health insurance marketplaces.”  And exactly how much does this cost the federal government?  Zero, nada, nuthin.   

This is just a reminder that successful enrollment initiatives may be unorthodox.  For our part, Jackson Hewitt’s system of 26,000 trained preparers is already providing enrollment assistance in every state (and DC!) for Medicaid, CHIP, and the new tax credit programs – and all at no additional cost to our customers.  No matter where you live or what you are eligible for, we can help.

Please feel free to contact me at
brian.haile@jtax.com or 615-761-6929 if I can be helpful in any way.    

Sincerely,

Brian

 

 

* Villacorta, Natalia, “Who will help the newly insured as consumer programs end?” PoliticoPro, February 18, 2014, available at https://www.politicopro.com/story/healthcare/?id=30918, accessed February 18, 2014.

 

** Dorn, Stan, Matthew Buettgens, and Jay Dev, “Tax Preparers Could Help Most Uninsured Get Covered,” Urban Institute and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, February 18, 2014, available at http://www.urban.org/publications/413029.html .