January 28, 2021

Cortez Masto, Horsford Introduce Bill to Make Health Care More Affordable for Families With Working Children

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Congressman Steven Horsford (D-Nev.-04) today introduced the Dependent Income Exclusion Act to make health insurance more affordable for families with children who have part-time jobs or are enrolled in job training programs. This legislation would allow families to exclude specific dependent income when calculating their eligibility for Affordable Care Act (ACA) subsidies. Senators Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) are also cosponsors of the Senate bill.

“One of my top priorities during this pandemic is to make sure that we’re expanding access to critical health care, not restricting it,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “I’m proud to sponsor this legislation to ease the financial burden on families with working children so that they can afford access to quality health care. I’ll continue working to include this legislation in an upcoming coronavirus relief package and ensure that all Nevadans can access critical health care, including mental health care.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of making sure that health care is accessible for all families” said Congressman Steven Horsford. “I’m proud to sponsor the Dependent Income Exclusion Act to make health insurance more affordable for families with young adults who are working part-time or enrolled in job training. This bill will encourage the strong work ethic of Nevada’s young people and expand coverage for working families in Nevada's Fourth District and across the country.” 

BACKGROUND:

Senator Cortez Masto first introduced this bill during the 116th Congress. Tax credits available under the ACA to subsidize health insurance premium costs are generally available for individuals with household incomes between 100 and 400 percent of the Federal poverty level (FPL). This leaves some middle-income consumers to pay their entire premium, and in some cases forces families to forgo coverage and remain uninsured. The Dependent Income Exclusion Act would allow consumers to exclude the income of their dependents when calculating their eligibility for premium tax credits, so long as the dependent is enrolled at least part time in school or an apprenticeship or participating in a job training program.

This bill answers President Joe Biden’s call, in his recently-released American Rescue Plan, for Congress to expand and increase the value of the Premium Tax Credit to lower or eliminate health insurance premiums.

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