Sure, enrollment numbers for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act aren’t going as well as the administration had hoped. But tax season might turn things around.
So says a new report, which finds tax preparers could be a key source of assistance for the millions of uninsured consumers who remain uneducated about the health reform law.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that more than 74 percent of the uninsured who qualify for Medicaid or health insurance exchange subsidies — 18.9 million people — file federal income tax returns. And 90 percent of young adults who qualify for subsidies file tax returns. Experts have long said participation by young, healthy adults in PPACA health plans is a key to the law’s success.
“As people file their income taxes, tax preparers may be able to help enroll those who are eligible for marketplace plans,” said Kathy Hempstead, who leads coverage issues at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “Since the majority of eligible filers use a tax preparer and file before March 31, this could be an effective route to boost enrollment.”