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October 29, 2003   Email to Friend 

Debra Davis
(334) 613-4686
October 29, 2003

Alabama Farmers Federation members who participate in the Alfa Health insurance plan may be eligible to receive federal assistance in paying their premiums, if they have lost their job due to foreign trade, bankruptcy or bankruptcy of a pension plan.

The Trade Act of 2002 created the Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC), which covers 65 percent of the premium amount paid by qualifying policyholders. You may claim the HCTC if:

• You are receiving a Trade Readjustment Allowance (TRA), or will receive Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) benefits once your unemployment benefits are exhausted, or • You are receiving benefits under the Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance (ATAA) program, or • You are receiving benefits from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) and you are at least 55 years old.

Linda Finney, manager of Alfa Health, said the HCTC will help eligible families afford health insurance coverage until they can get back on their feet. "This is a great way to help workers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. We are pleased that our plan, which is underwritten by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama, is approved as an individual--qualified health plan for its members," Finney said.

Persons qualifying for the HCTC either will receive a tax credit of 65 percent of the cost of their health care coverage when they file their federal income tax return, or they can arrange to send 35 percent of their premium to the government, and the HCTC program will submit the full payment to Alfa Health. Policyholders are responsible for making sure their premium payments are received by Alfa Health.

Individuals who qualify for the HCTC should be notified by the state in which they were employed. For more information, contact the HCTC Customer Contact Center at 1-866-628-HCTC. For questions concerning qualification for credit under the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, call 1-800-400-7242.

To apply for Alfa Health insurance coverage, contact your local Alfa Insurance agent.

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