Stand-Alone Health Insurance Tax Credits Aren't Enough

Publication Date: July 2001

Publisher: Center for Studying Health System Change

Author(s): Leslie A. Jackson; Sally Trude

Research Area: Health

Type: Brief


Using health insurance tax credits to help reduce the ranks of the nearly 43 million uninsured Americans has attracted broad bipartisan support in Congress. But tax credits alone will not help many sick or older people obtain affordable coverage, according to an expert panel at an April 10, 2001, conference sponsored by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC). To make tax credits a viable option for eligible people, the individual insurance market would need significant reforms or a better way to spread risk-similar to large employers-over a large and varied population. This Issue Brief highlights critical issues policy makers should consider when crafting tax credit proposals, including the use of purchasing pools.