How the Health Care Tax Credits Worked

Who Qualified for Health Care Tax Credits?

It was a very specific group of people that qualified for the Health Care Tax Credit. There were two eligibility categories: candidate requirements and general requirements. The candidate requirements laid out exactly who could receive the credit, and the general requirements specified the types of health plans that the government deemed "qualified."

To qualify for the HCTC, you had to be already receiving assistance through one of two government programs:

  • The Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), Alternative TAA (ATAA) and Reemployment TAA (RTAA) programs help workers who have lost jobs or have taken a pay cut because of foreign trade --usually because their jobs have been shipped overseas. Among other things, the programs provide paid training, job search assistance and Trade Readjustment Allowances. If you were part of a TAA program, you were eligible for the HCTC.
  • The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) provides pension benefits for retired employees of companies that can no longer financially offer those services, usually because of bankruptcy. Anyone 55 or older who was receiving assistance through the PBGC could also qualify for the HCTC (have we given you enough acronyms to keep track of?).

You were NOT eligible for the Health Care Tax Credit if:

  • You were enrolled in a Medicaid or Medicare plan.
  • You were in prison.
  • You could legally file as someone else's dependent (but if one of your dependents was enrolled in CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program), you could still take the HCTC).

Once you met these requirements, your health plan also had to meet certain conditions. Read on to find out what those were.