H.R. 2581 amends the premium tax credit under section 36B of the Internal Revenue Code to specify that advance payments of the credit are not to be made with respect to an individual unless the Secretary of the Treasury has received confirmation from the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), that the Commissioner of Social Security or the Secretary of Homeland Security has verified that individual’s status as a citizen or national of the United States, or as lawfully present in the United States. In addition, the legislation amends H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act (AHCA) of 2017, as passed by the House of Representatives on May 4, 2017, to provide a similar rule with respect to advance payments of a new credit for the purchase of health insurance.
Under current law and the AHCA, an individual is not eligible for the premium assistance credit unless the individual is a citizen or national of the United States or lawfully present in the United States (beginning in 2020, under AHCA, a qualified alien). The current procedures with respect to advance payment of either credit require verification of the individual’s status by the Secretary of HHS before advance payments of the credit are made by the Department of Treasury. However, existing procedures may not be sufficient to ensure that proper verification has occurred. This legislation requires the Secretary of the Treasury to confirm such verification before making an advanced payment.
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Jun 13, 2017.
(This measure has not been amended since it was reported to the House on June 2, 2017. The summary of that version is repeated here.)
Verify First Act
(Sec. 2) This bill amends the Internal Revenue Code to prohibit advance payments of the premium assistance tax credit from being made to an individual unless the Department of the Treasury has received confirmation from the Department of Health and Human Services that the Social Security Administration or the Department of Homeland Security has verified the individual's status as a citizen or national of the United States or an alien lawfully present in the United States.
The verification process must include the appropriate use of information related to citizenship or immigration status, such as Social Security numbers (but not individual taxpayer identification numbers).
The bill also amends the Public Health Service Act and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to permit adjustments to certain health insurance coverage dates for an individual whose eligibility for advance payments is delayed due to the verification requirements.
The bill is contingent on the enactment of the American Health Care Act of 2017 (AHCA). If the AHCA is enacted, the bill applies to: (1) the existing tax credit after December 31, 2017; and (2) the tax credit, as modified by the AHCA, after December 31, 2019.