We all know health care still costs too much, and here at OSPIRG we’re working to change that. But life without health insurance can be even more expensive. Knowing the facts and learning about all of your options can make all the difference when it comes to getting you and your family the coverage you need.

One option we want to make sure everyone knows about is the new Health Premium Tax Credit. Starting this year, you may qualify for a new tax credit that can reduce your monthly premiums. The amount you and your family can save depends on your income and family size.

To learn more about the Health Premium Tax Credit, you can use this great new tool, brought to you by Consumer Reports and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: healthtaxcredittool.org

At this site, you can run through a few simple questions to determine whether you and your family may be eligible for the tax credit. You can also learn more, and hear the stories of people taking advantage of the credit, at financialhelpforhealth.org

To use the Health Premium Tax Credit this year, you must apply for coverage through Oregon’s new health insurance marketplace, Cover Oregon, prior to March 31st. You can check out your options there at coveroregon.com. You may have heard that technical problems are preventing individuals from using the Cover Oregon website to enroll, but it’s still possible to enroll and get the tax credits by using a paper application or working with an agent or community group that can help you through the process for free. Check coveroregon.com/agent/find to find free help with enrollment.

Like I said, health care still costs too much, but with the Health Premium Tax Credit, hundreds of thousands of Oregonians have a new option to help keep costs down for themselves and their families.