The planned fix for the Affordable Care Act’s “family glitch” would provide premium subsidies under a marketplace plan if a worker’s employer family plan costs more than 10% of their income. The proposed rule will be announced during a White House event Tuesday — attended by former President Barack Obama — where President Joe Biden will also order federal agencies to look for additional affordability measures in ACA plans.
Biden Admin Plots To Fix Obamacare’s ‘Family Glitch,’ Expand Coverage
The Biden administration is planning on Tuesday to propose a long-sought change to the Affordable Care Act aimed at lowering health insurance costs for millions of Americans, four people with knowledge of the matter told POLITICO. The new policy is designed to close a loophole in the ACA known as the “family glitch” that’s prevented an estimated 5 million people from qualifying for subsidized health plans — even when they can’t find affordable coverage elsewhere. (Cancryn, 4/4)
Biden Announces Affordable Care Act Change That Will Lower Premiums For Families
The Obama administration defined affordability as the premium for a single beneficiary — the employee — being below a certain percentage of family income. That doesn’t take into account the higher cost of adding dependents to family coverage. The Biden administration is changing the definition and tying the eligibility threshold to the price of family coverage, which it says will lead to hundreds of thousands more Americans gaining coverage and more than a million spending less on premiums. (Owens, 4/5)
Biden Administration Aims To Fix “Family Glitch” In Health Care Law
“As a result, 200,000 uninsured people are expected to gain coverage and nearly a million more are expected to see lower premiums every day,” the official told reporters on a background call. The rule wouldn’t go into effect until January 2023, and the official couldn’t say how much it will cost the government to fix the so-called “family glitch” or how the government would be paid for it. According to the official, President Biden will sign an executive order directing agencies to do everything within their power to make health care more accessible and affordable. (Watson and Ake, 4/5)
With Obama’s Help, Biden To Announce Proposed Fix To ACA’s ‘Family Glitch’
The largest expansion of health care since the ACA’s passage in 2010 occurred through the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill Biden signed into law last year. That pandemic package increased Obamacare insurance subsidies to those who were already eligible for help through state and federal marketplaces. It also made help newly available to people earning more than four times the federal poverty level. But the boost was only for two years. Legislation to extend the expanded subsidies was part of Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan that stalled in the Senate. (Groppe, 4/5)
Biden-Obama: White House Reunion To Celebrate Health Law
The last time President Barack Obama was in the White House was on Jan. 20, 2017, when he left to escort his successor — bent on overturning “Obamacare” — to the U.S. Capitol to be inaugurated. Obama returns to the White House on Tuesday for a moment he can savor: His signature Affordable Care Act is now part of the fabric of the American health care system, and President Joe Biden is looking to extend its reach. Obamacare sign-ups have increased under Biden’s stewardship, and more generous taxpayer subsidies have cut costs for enrollees, albeit temporarily. (Miller and Alonso-Zaldivar, 4/5)
ACA Sign-Ups For Low-Income People Roll Out Amid Brokers’ Concerns About Losing Their Cut
Insurance agent Cindy Holtzman was a little surprised by the notice from Bright HealthCare, one of the insurers that offer Affordable Care Act coverage in her area. The company’s February note said its health plan sign-ups saw “extraordinary growth” — passing the “one-million-member mark” in the previous year — and tied that success to the good relationships it has with brokers. But, the note continued, the insurer wanted to “suspend growth during this special enrollment season” and thus would stop paying commissions to brokers who enroll new people in coverage starting April 1. (Appleby, 4/5)
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