Washington: @WAPlanFinder statement on continuation of enhanced health insurance tax credits

Washington HealthPlan Finder

via the Washington Health Benefit Exchange:

Washington Health Benefit Exchange interim CEO Jim Crawford issued the following statement regarding today’s signing of the Inflation Reduction Act, which includes a three-year extension of the enhanced federal premium subsidies currently available to Washingtonians who purchase their health coverage on Washington Healthplanfinder, the state’s online health insurance marketplace. These additional subsidies were first adopted under the American Rescue Plan Act (APRA) of 2021.

“We are incredibly pleased that Washington Healthplanfinder customers will continue to benefit from enhanced federal subsidies through the end of 2025. These subsidies have been a major driver in reducing premium payments for those purchasing health insurance and provide needed relief to those buying and renewing coverage in November for the 2023 plan year, who would have otherwise faced steep premium increases.

“Washington Healthplanfinder enrollment is at an all-time high due in large part to these enhanced affordability efforts. Since their introduction in 2021, more than 60,000 individuals newly gained coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder and today over 75 percent of the entire market is tax credit eligible — up from 62 percent. More than 100,000 customers currently pay less than $100 dollars a month for their health insurance.

“These extended federal subsidies, in combination with Cascade Care Savings – the new state premium subsidy program – will create an unprecedented opportunity for uninsured, low-income Washington residents get covered, especially individuals and families working in lower-wage jobs. This program builds on the existing federal subsidies to maximize available state resources and the Exchange will be working with all its partners to spread the word on this new program.

“Moving forward, we recognize there is more to do on the affordability of health insurance in our state. And while we are glad for the continuation of ARPA subsidies and introduction the Cascade Care Savings program to customers this open enrollment, we are also looking forward to continued conversations on reducing systemic costs in health care that lead to the price increases reflected in health insurance premiums.”