The federal government issued final regulations that provide guidance for individuals who enroll in qualified health plans through health exchanges and claim the premium tax credit, and for exchanges that make qualified health plans available to individuals and employers.

Mandated by the PPACA, the credit applies to individuals and families who are enrolled in insurance exchanges and whose income is between 100 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level. In 2011, families of four with incomes of $22,350 to $89,400 could have qualified for the credit, officials say.

And—citing estimates from the Congressional Budget Office—the average credit for eligible individuals and families could be about $5,000 per year, officials say.

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