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More than 600K in N.J. will qualify for health insurance tax credits, report says

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More than 610,000 low- and middle-income New Jersey residents will be eligible in 2014 for new health insurance premium tax credits to help them pay for health coverage, according to a report released today by Families USA.

Under the Affordable Care Act, qualifying residents may register beginning in October for tax credits that take effect in January. The credits, which will offset a portion of the cost of health insurance premiums, will be determined on a sliding scale based on income.

"The tax credit subsidies are a game changer," said Ron Pollock, executive director of Families USA, a national health consumer organization. "They will make health coverage affordable for huge numbers of uninsured families who would have been priced out of the health coverage and care they need."

A family of four with an annual income between $47,100 (two times the federal poverty level) and $94,200 (four times the federal poverty level) will make up nearly 60 percent of those eligible. Most of the tax credits will be available to uninsured individuals who have incomes between $15,860 and $45,960, and incomes between $32,500 and $94,200 for a family of four.

About 84 percent of those eligible will be working families, and 38 percent will be ages 18-34.

Using U.S. Census data, the report estimates Essex County will have the most eligible residents, at about 63,830, followed by Hudson at 59,660 and Bergen at 53,870. The county with the least number of eligible residents is expected to be Hunterdon, with 4,910.

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