Victims of domestic violence will now be able to receive the full range of health care benefits they deserve even if they are still legally married to their abuser, thanks to U.S. Senator Mark Begich who pressured the Obama administration to fix problematic enrollment practices in the new health care law.
"I have been fighting for this common sense fix and am glad that individuals who are victims of domestic violence can now get the full health care benefit owed to them without unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles," said Begich. "There is not enough we can do to support victims of domestic violence and while this is just one step, I am proud to provide real results for those who need it most."
Some domestic violence victims were unable to qualify for subsidies because their income is still being calculated by their married income. Victims of domestic violence often experience a significant decrease in income when they decide to leave an abusive marriage.
The health care law includes preventive services to help break the cycle of abuse, such as free screenings for interpersonal and domestic violence.
Begich received news directly from the Treasury Department today stating that Treasury and the IRS will release updated guidance providing that married individuals living apart from their spouse as a result of domestic violence can claim a premium tax credit for 2014 while filing a tax return with a filing status of "married filing separately." A copy of the letter to Begich is attached.
Begich sent a letter to the administration in January requesting an update to the tax guidance on married but filing separately candidates who are victims of domestic abuse. The full text of the letter is attached.