Financial Incentives: Tax Benefits for New Health Insurance Enrollees


Instead of relying just only on penalties to convince people to enroll in health insurance, the government should consider creating incentives, such as tax benefits. Since open enrollment ends March 31, 2014 and the deadline for IRS tax filings is April 15, 2014, the government could provide tax benefits for new health insurance enrollees. For instance, to reach the goal of 2.7 million new enrollees, a tax deduction of a fixed amount, such as $50-100, for each newly insured person would only cost $135-$270 million.

Such a small amount could be offset by penalties from those who do not enroll in health insurance. Despite the initial loss, there would be significant long-term benefits because these enrollees would be offsetting high costs from older Americans and ensuring the success of the ACA. The government could even consider raising penalty fines to finance a portion or all of the tax benefits for early adopters of health insurance.

Full proposal: