Making sense of premium tax credits

Posted May, 22 2013 by arianne

Put on your thinking cap!We all know that this health reform business is complicated.  Even for policy wonks and advocates like me who live and breathe this stuff, it can still be really confusing at times.

With the launch of the health insurance exchange set for October 1, the advocacy community is buzzing with questions on how to quickly and effectively improve the public’s understanding around what are currently considered to be very mysterious topics for most: “insurance exchanges,” “premium tax credits,” and let us not forget the big one, “Obamacare.”

The good folk’s at Consumer’s Union recently decided to tackle one of the big ones – premium tax credits.  They have released a report with findings from three rounds of consumer testing in three states (Maryland, Oklahoma, and Utah) on how to help consumers understand this topic.

The report is great at pinpointing the information that regular folks respond to and explaining how to break down what is essentially complicated IRS information in a way that is understandable to most.  Best of all, they have created some really great templates for brochures, a worksheet, and a timeline graphic that folks can tweak and distribute themselves.  Very cool.

To read the Consumer’s Union report, titled “Helping Consumers Understand the New Premium Tax Credit,” and accompanying materials, click here.