AMERICANS may see sharp increases in their insurance premiums next year.
The Biden administration strengthened the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, through American rescue plan.
The bid’s plan offered grants for ACA coverage and reduced costs by one average of 40% for Americans who get state-sponsored insurance, according to the White House.
But the extended funding is set to expire on January 1, 2023, and the results could be catastrophic for less affluent households.
Premium costs could rise by more than $ 12 billion nationwide if Congress does not extend the grants, according to a new report from FamiliesUSA.
The average Obamacare recipient would see their premium increase by more than $ 700, according to the report.
The average premium would jump from $ 1,332 to $ 2,040, a cost increase of 53%.
West Virginians would be hardest hit – more than 23,000 people in the state are covered by the ACA, and their rates would rise by an average of $ 1,536.
More than 14 million Americans are currently buying their insurance from Healthcare.govACA’s Marketplace.
If the expanded subsidies expire, more than 3 million people could be priced out of coverage, according to an analysis from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
In its report, FamiliesUSA urged lawmakers to take steps to keep health insurance costs from skyrocketing.
“Congress must act decisively to prevent huge increases in health insurance spending for families who are already facing serious challenges in coping with rapidly rising living costs,” the conclusion reads.
“All they have to do is extend financial assistance [the American Relief Plan] already provides when people buy insurance on their own. “
What holds up an extension?
Congress Democrats have struggled to pass meaningful extensions of policies from the U.S. rescue plan.
Most notably, many Democrats fought and failed to extend the improved tax deduction for children expired in December.
With the Senate divided equally along party lines and Republicans primarily committed to obstructing the Democratic agenda, Democrats needed unanimous support to revive the tax deduction.
Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) thwarted his party in December and appears ready to do so once again by removing a potential ACA support extension.
According to InsiderManchin avoided questions about his support for Obamacare subsidies, saying his focus was “fighting inflation.”
Without Manchin’s support and ruled out a Republican defection, Democrats will not be able to extend the ACA boosts this year.
The next ACA enrollment window opens on November 1, so lawmakers will likely have to approve a plan to extend the grants before that date.
Otherwise, people who log on to the portal to find insurance rates for 2023 may see staggering rates.
A last-minute extension can also cause unrest in the sign-up process, so Congress will have to find an agreement in the next few months to ensure that the grants are extended evenly.
With the midterm elections of 2022 on November 8, confusion, coverage lapses, or price increases in Obamacare coverage could seriously hurt Democrats at the ballot box.
For the latest on cash assistance programs, check out The Sun’s stimulus live blog.
Thousands of Americans have also been hit by medical bills that they do not actually owe, according to a government watchdog.
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