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PHAN Statement on New IRS Rule Ending the Family Glitch

October 12, 2022

Today, the IRS announced its final rule fixing the “family glitch,” a misinterpretation of the Affordable Care Act that barred people from getting affordable health coverage when they could get coverage from a parent or spouse, even if it was extremely expensive. Antoinette Kraus, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Health Access Network, released the following statement in response:

“For over ten years, affordable health coverage has remained out of reach for Pennsylvanians caught in the family glitch. Today’s rule puts an end to the family glitch, meaning that 180,000 Pennsylvanians, most of whom are low-income women and children, will now have the option to purchase affordable, high-quality health coverage through Fixing the family glitch means better access to affordable coverage for hundreds of thousands of women and children throughout Pennsylvania and that hard-working families will be protected from incurring medical debt simply because they are sick and need care.

Thanks to this rule, Pennsylvanians who have been unable to find affordable coverage in the past due to the family glitch will be able to save hundreds on their Pennie plans this Open Enrollment beginning on November 1st. PHAN’s free helpline can help families assess which health insurance plan will work best for them at 877-570-3642.”


  • Under the ACA as originally interpreted if you were uninsured but could get coverage from a spouse or parent, you could not get subsidies even if the coverage offered was very expensive. This is the so-called “family glitch.”
    In total, 5.1 million Americans — and 180,000 Pennsylvanians– fall in the family glitch according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
  • The family glitch primarily affects women and children. According to KFF, more than half of those who fall in the family glitch are children under the age of 18. Among adults falling in the family glitch, 59% are women and 41% are men. Over half are low-wage workers.
  • Open Enrollment for begins November 1st and ends January 15th. Thanks to the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, Pennsylvanians will continue to get increased financial assistance. Families and individuals should review their options and shop for a plan that best fits their family’s needs.