Individual health insurance tax incentives could help states with large numbers of low-income workers far more than they would help residents of other states.[@@]

Sherry Glied and Douglas Gould, researchers at Columbia University, have published an analysis supporting that conclusion in a paper on the Web site of the health finance journal Health Affairs.

Some policymakers have suggested that Congress should address the plight of the uninsured by creating a tax credit that would help low-income and moderate-income U.S. residents who lack employer-sponsored health coverage pay for individual coverage.

The tax credit proposals could cut the uninsured rate by as much as 20% in states with a high percentage of low-income residents, such as Arkansas, California, Georgia, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah and Washington, Glied and Gould write.

The same tax credits probably would have little effect on the uninsured rate for states with relatively high incomes and relatively high health insurance rates, such as Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey and New York, the researchers write.