We have great news to share. The final fiscal year 2020 Congressional funding bill released today includes a short-term (1 year) extension of the Health Coverage Tax Credit through the end of 2020. The bill still has to be signed by the President but it appears all parties have indicated support for the bill.
Much appreciation goes out to all who communicated the need for this extension with your Representatives. Please see the announcement from Senator Portman’s office. We will have to take up the battle again in 2020 but for now we can breathe a sigh of relief for the immediate future.
Information will be forthcoming shortly about a special Open Enrollment window to allow enrollees to make changes to their medical coverage.
DSRA BT Board
UNITED STATES SENATE
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, December 17, 2019
Contact: Emily Benavides (Portman) 202-224-5190
Matthew Keyes (Brown) 202-224-3978
Portman, Brown Announce Final FY 2020 Funding Bill Includes Extension of Health Coverage Tax Credit
Health Coverage Tax Credit is Critically Important for Thousands of Hardworking Retirees in Ohio
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced that the final FY 2020 funding bill released includes a short-term extension of the Health Coverage Tax Credit through the end of 2020. This credit helps subsidize the cost of continued coverage for retirees and other individuals who lost their health care coverage — in addition to their pensions and other benefits — when their employers either entered into bankruptcy or laid off workers due to foreign trade. Earlier this year, Portman and Brown introduced bipartisan legislation that would extend for five years the Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC). The HCTC is critically important for many hardworking Ohioans, including as many as 5,000 Delphi salaried retirees in Dayton, the Mahoning Valley, and Sandusky. In addition, a few hundred workers from the Lordstown General Motors plant have applied for Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) and would benefit from the HCTC as well.
“Thousands of retirees in Ohio and their families depend on the Health Coverage Tax Credit, and I’m pleased the funding bill includes an extension of this credit, even if it is only for one year,” Portman said. “Since I came to the Senate, I’ve fought for multiple extensions of the HCTC, including my bill that was included in the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015 the last time the credit was extended. These hardworking Ohioans rely on the HCTC for affordable health insurance after their pensions were terminated or after they were adversely affected by foreign trade, and I will continue to work with my colleagues and the administration to ensure the stability of health coverage for these individuals and their families. While this short-term extension is less than the five years I called for in my legislation with Senator Brown, I’m still pleased that we were able to prevent the expiration of this credit, providing certainty to thousands of Ohioans.”
“The Health Coverage Tax Credit is a lifeline for thousands of Ohioans, many of whom are living on fixed incomes after losing their pensions and healthcare. This critical legislation will help ensure these retirees and workers get the relief they need in order to afford healthcare,” said Brown.
NOTE: The HCTC, which is set to expire on January 1, 2020, helps to reduce the cost of maintaining health insurance coverage for a number of individuals that are either receiving TAA benefits or are between the ages of 55-64 years old whose pensions were terminated and are being administered by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. Portman and Brown worked together to extend this tax credit in 2011 and again in 2015.