April 24, 2024 5:32 pm
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Building Blocks Towards Sustainable Health Care Subsidies

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Mohamed Bughrara

In June, Governor Wolf and 13 other governors urged Congress to take action to prolong the Affordable Care Act (ACA) subsidies to stabilize health care coverage for civilians and families. Millions of Americans nationwide, and Pennsylvanians across the state would be affected today if the ACA subsidies weren’t extended.

Echoing that very sentiment, Governor Wolf explained, “Tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians will be impacted if this subsidy expansion expires in December, which will mean their insurance premiums will increase, putting individuals at health and financial risk. It’s critical that we continue to make affordable coverage as accessible as possible to as many as possible, and I applaud President Joe Biden for his leadership to not only expand coverage as part of ARPA, but also to make it permanent. “

The Inflation Reduction Act, the most comprehensive piece of climate legislation ever voted in Congress, was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday, August 12. A number of noteworthy health care provisions were also included in the bill, including the continuance of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) monthly premium subsidies for policies bought through the Health Insurance Marketplace through 2025.

Due to the premium tax credits that protect enrollees from increases in the underlying cost, premium payments for Marketplace members will mostly remain unchanged in 2023. The Inflation Reduction Act’s approval will extend interim subsidies, protecting nearly all 13 million subsidized enrollees from a general increase in out-of-pocket premium costs in 2019.  If these improved subsidies hadn’t been in place, premium payments in the 33 states that use healthcare would have been 53% more in 2022 (more than $700 more a year).

While this may be a great temporary fix, there is still a lot of work to do in order to solidify our healthcare system. “I urge Congress to make these subsidies permanent so that Pennsylvanians can continue to have a better quality of life through affordable comprehensive ACA coverage.” proclaimed Governor Wolf.