Although Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) failed last month, President Trump continues to threaten the future of the ACA including the elimination of subsides for consumers in the private market. Today’s analysis by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). estimates an increase in health insurance premiums by 20 percent next year if the subsides are not funded. Insurers rely on the subsidies to reduce out-of-pocket costs for low-income consumers.
“It’s time for the Trump Administration to stop playing games with people’s health care,” said Sarah de Guia, Executive Director of the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network (CPEHN). “We call on the President to commit to funding the payments required under the law, so our communities can continue to afford the health care they need,” de Guia added.
The ACA provides assistance for consumers in Covered California who qualify in two ways: monthly premium support (the Advanced Premium Tax Credit or APTC) and cost-sharing reductions (CSRs) which are only available to Silver plan members. Half of Covered California enrollees receive CSRs that reduce out-of pocket expenses on average by $1,500 per household or $1,000 for an individual per year. This assistance helps individuals and families cover the costs of medical care including high deductibles, co-payments or out of pocket costs.
Recently, Covered California cited the uncertainty over the future of the CSR assistance payments as one explanation for the increases in 2018 premiums, which range from as low as 3% to an average of 12.5%. Covered California is working to protect consumers from higher prices and also note that if premiums increase the amount of financial assistance through tax credits will also increase leaving their net payment virtually the same.
Sarah de Guia, JD
Executive Director, California Pan-Ethnic Health Network
P: (510) 832-1160
Director of Policy Analysis, California Pan-Ethnic Health Network
P: (510) 832-1160
CPEHN is a multicultural health policy organization dedicated to improving the health of communities of color. CPEHN’s mission is to advance health equity by advocating for sufficient resources and public policies.