NU Online News Service, July 9, 5:10 p.m. — Washington
Individual health insurance is already far more affordable than critics charge, and it will become even more so if Congress enacts President Bush’s proposal to provide tax credits for the purchase of individual coverage, according to the president of the Health Insurance Association of America, Washington.
HIAA President Don Young argued here at a recent press briefing that supporters of government-sponsored health insurance are putting out misinformation about the cost of individual coverage and the likely effects of a tax credit.
Young said he expects Congress to consider the proposal sometime this month.
If Congress approves the proposal, the government would provide tax credits worth $1,000 per adult and $500 per child, up to a maximum credit of $3,000 per family credit, for taxpayers without employer-provided coverage who bought individual health insurance.
Today, millions of Americans can already afford individual health insurance, HIAA officials said.
An HIAA survey of 12 member companies that have issued more than 1 million individual policies showed that monthly premiums for individual health insurance now average $173 for single coverage and $334 for family coverage, according to Thomas Wildsmith, an HIAA policy research actuary.