The IRS has announced that Medicaid coverage of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing and diagnostic services is not minimum essential coverage for purposes of the premium tax credit under Code Sec. 36B.

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), certain taxpayers who obtain their coverage through an Exchange may claim a premium tax credit under Code Sec. 36B. However, taxpayers are only allowed the credit for months they are not otherwise eligible for minimum essential coverage.

Minimum essential coverage includes coverage under government-sponsored programs, including Medicaid, but certain health care coverage providing limited benefits is exempted.

The Treasury Department and the IRS have determined that Medicaid coverage limited to COVID-19 testing and diagnostic services is not minimum essential coverage under a government-sponsored program. Thus, an individual’s eligibility for this coverage for one or more months does not prevent the individual from claiming the premium tax credit under Code Sec. 36B.