Back in 2019, long before the American Rescue Plan passed, I embarked on an ambitious project. I wanted to see what the real-world effects would be of passing a piece of legislation which would eliminate the Affordable Care Act's so-called "Subsidy Cliff" while also strengthening the subsidy formula for those who qualified. Call it "ACA 2.0" for short, if you will (that's what I do, anyway).
HOWEVER, the MLR rule is still pretty important...and while the dollar amounts I'm about to discuss aren't much more than a rounding error in terms of federal budget numbers, it's possible that the could play a small role in helping get a much larger project moving forward.
Before I begin, here's a short refresher on how the MLR rule works:
Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a new report that shows 31 million Americans have health coverage through the Affordable Care Act – a record. The report also shows that there have been reductions in uninsurance rates in every state in the country since the law’s coverage expansions took effect. People served by the health Marketplaces and Medicaid expansion have reached record highs.
“The Minnesota Heath Access Survey shows that more Minnesota families have been able to access and maintain their health insurance during this critical time,” said MNsure CEO Nate Clark. “Minnesota has been able to reduce the uninsured rate thanks in part to targeted, effective policies, including the expansion of premium tax credits that lower the cost of monthly premiums for private health plans available through MNsure.”
More than 65,000 Access Health CT enrollees would be impacted
HARTFORD, Conn. (March 16, 2022) — Access Health CT (AHCT) today announced that more than 65,000 Connecticut residents would be negatively impacted by reduced or eliminated financial help for health insurance if the increased financial assistance from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) expires at the end of 2022.
The $178 million per year ($14.8 million per month) of assistance residents receive through ARPA will end unless the enhanced premium tax credits continue past 2022 through federal legislation.
“Ending increased financial help would have a significant impact on Connecticut residents,” said James Michel, Access Health CT Chief Executive Officer, “including progress made toward addressing health disparities. The American Rescue Plan Act makes health insurance coverage more affordable and accessible – greatly reducing the impact of social determinants of health.”
A new Covered California analysis describes the potential impact to consumers if the increased health insurance subsidies that were part of the American Rescue Plan are allowed to expire at the end of 2022.
In California, all consumers would face premium increases, including 1 million lower-income consumers (individuals earning less than $32,200 per year), who would see their premiums more than double.
In addition, middle-income individuals and families (for individuals, those earning more than $51,520 per year), would no longer be eligible for any financial help and would face higher monthly premium costs that for many will mean annual cost increases in the thousands of dollars.
The increase in costs could force more than 150,000 people in California and more than 1.7 million nationally to drop their health insurance.
IMPORTANT: The official 2022 Open Enrollment Period has now ended in most of the country, but there's 8 states where residents still have time to #GetCovered, with their new healthcare policies going into effect starting either February 1st or March 1st.
The 2022 OEP is by far the best ever for the ACA coverage, with dramatically expanded financial help for millions more people (including many who weren't eligible last year), reinvigorated expert, unbiased assistance, more choices in many states and counties, and FREE policies for more people than ever before.
If you've never enrolled in an ACA healthcare policy before, or if you looked into it years ago but weren't impressed, please give it another shot now. Thanks to the American Rescue Plan (ARP), it's a whole different ballgame.
Here's some important things to know when you #GetCovered for 2022:
WHAT: Open enrollment begins today on NevadaHealthLink.com, the online health insurance marketplace operated by the state agency, the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange (Exchange), that connects Nevadans to quality, affordable health and dental plans. For this Plan Year 2022, Nevadans can shop 126 qualified health plans. All plans are designed to fit each individual’s budget and health needs.