Supreme Court Decision Protects Access to Coverage, Financial Help for Pennsylvanians
11:30am Conference Call with Reporters to Discuss Implications of King v. Burwell Ruling for the Commonwealth
HARRISBURG, PA – Today, the Supreme Court ruled that, despite some awkward phrasing, the clear intent of Congress was to make affordable health insurance available to all Americans, no matter where they live. By ruling in favor of the law and upholding financial assistance in all states, not just those that set up their own marketplaces, the Court protected 349,000 Pennsylvanians from seeing their tax credits ripped away.
Antoinette Kraus Director of the Pennsylvania Health Access Network released the following statement in response to the Court’s decision in King v. Burwell:
“Today, Pennsylvanians can breathe a sigh of relief that their health coverage is secure. By ruling to uphold tax credits in states that use the federal marketplace, the Court stopped partisan opponents of the law from stripping financial help from millions of Americans, including 349,000 here in Pennsylvania. The Supreme Court found what most experts believed from the begining; the ACA is clear that subsides are available in both federal and state exchanges. With this case decided, working Moms and Dads, young entrepreneurs, early retirees, and other Pennsylvanians who are enrolled in private health insurance plans through the marketplace an rest assured that the quality, affordable coverage they’ve enjoyed under the Affordable Care Act is here to stay.
To ensure that no Pennsylvanian would lose access to tax credits in the event of a negative ruling in King v. Burwell, the Wolf Administration had taken initial steps to set up a state-based marketplace. While expediting this process is no longer a necessity, it is still an important avenue to explore. A state-based marketplace would shift control, oversight and, importantly, accountability, from the federal government to the state, and could be established without enacting any new taxes. We encourage the Wolf Administration and lawmakers to explore how a state-based marketplace could better serve Pennsylvanians.”
State advocates are convening a conference call with members of the media at 11:30am today to share more reactions from safety-net providers, enrollment assisters serving rural and immigrant communities, health policy experts and working Pennsylvanians whose coverage is now secure as a result of this decision.
To join the call, dial-in to: (712) 432-0926 and enter passcode: 275893# at 11:30am (EST) today.
As of March 2015, 427,454 Pennsylvanians were enrolled in private health insurance plans purchased through Healthcare.gov. 348,823 or 82% of all enrollees are receiving tax credits that reduce their monthly premiums by an average of $227 per enrollee.
The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that 498,000 Pennsylvanians are eligible for the law’s tax credits, based on having an income between 138 and 400% of the federal poverty level (FPL). After two years of open enrollment, 70% of Pennsylvanians who are eligible for tax credits have enrolled.
As a result of today’s decision, Pennsylvanians can continue receiving $79,182,821 in federal subsidies (tax credits) each month — nearly $1 billion annually.