Obamacare Tax Subsidy Recipients in Northeast Express Relief

June 26, 2015

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the tax subsidies for health insureds across the country including those in states without their own health exchanges that use the federal health insurance exchange. The following are some of the reactions from consumers and state officials from the Northeast region.

Over 170K N.J. Residents to Keep Subsidies

More than 170,000 New Jersey residents can keep subsidies to pay for health insurance after the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold federally funded tax credits.

New Jersey Policy Perspective warned recently that the average resident would have lost more than $3,700 if the Affordable Care Act subsidies were overturned.

Republican Gov. Chris Christie says on Twitter that Thursday’s decision means leaders must turn their attention to making the case that Obama’s signature health care law must be replaced.

Democratic U.S. Sens. Bob Menendez and Cory Booker praised the court’s decision.

New Jersey Policy Perspective estimates that insurance costs to 308,000 residents in the individual market would have climbed by almost 50 percent if the tax credits were eliminated. The average premium would have risen to almost $9,000 from roughly $6,000.

Va. Gov. Hails Court Ruling

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is hailing the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allows about 285,000 Virginians to continue receiving federal subsidies on health insurance plans purchased through on a federal marketplace.

The Democratic governor says he hoped the ruling would allow state lawmakers to “put partisan politics aside” and expand Medicaid, another key provision of the Affordable Care Act.

But it’s unlikely that state Republicans will drop their long-held opposition to expanding Medicaid, a government funded health care program for the poor. GOP House Speaker William J. Howell says the Affordable Care Act remains “deeply flawed” and Thursday’s Supreme Court decision does not change that.

Virginia is one of 34 states that rely on the federal health insurance marketplace.

Nearly 61K Mainers to Keep Subsidies

Nearly 61,000 Maine residents will continue to receive help from the federal government to pay for their health insurance coverage after the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a key provision of President Barack Obama’s landmark health care law.

The case in front of the nation’s highest court centered on the legality of the subsidies under the Affordable Care Act for consumers in Maine and 33 other states who use the health exchange run the federal government. The court ruled that financial assistance is not limited to states that operate their own exchanges, preserving affordable health insurance for millions of Americans.

Subsidies cover about 70 percent of the monthly premium on average, so many people would no longer been have able to afford coverage if they had lost that assistance.

Among those breathing a sigh of relief on Thursday was Alyce Ornella, a 35-year-old new mother who lives in Harpswell. She said losing the subsidies would have been “catastrophic” because her baby who was born in February faces ongoing medical issues that have made having health insurance crucial.

“I’m just extremely grateful and happy for all the people, including myself, here in Maine who can’t have health insurance without receiving a subsidy,” Ornella said. She said she pays $168 a month for herself, her husband and her baby to be covered and receives several hundred dollars a month in assistance from the federal government.

Independent Sen. Angus King said Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree lauded the ruling and urged opponents to stop trying to dismantle and undermine the law.

“Today, more than 60,000 people in Maine and millions more across the country can breathe a sigh of relief that they still have access to the high-quality, affordable health insurance plans provided through the Affordable Care Act,” King said.

Pingree said the shift needs to focus on improving the law and not “trying to take health care away for Americans.”

The Kaiser Family Foundation said that 60,939 Mainers were receiving subsidies as of March 31. The average monthly subsidy in the state is $337 and premiums were expected to rise 383 percent if the tax credits were no longer available, according to the nonpartisan health policy research organization. Maine would have seen the fourth highest premium increases in the country.

Of the more than 10 million people who have signed up for health insurance under the Obama health overhaul, 8.7 million people are receiving a subsidy to help pay for their plans. More than 6 million of those people were at risk of losing that aid because they live in states that did not set up their own health insurance exchanges.

N.H. Subsidy Recipients Express Relief

The Supreme Court’s decision upholding tax subsidies under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul law preserves health insurance for some 30,000 New Hampshire residents.

More than 6 million people nationwide were at risk of losing the subsidies they get to help pay their insurance premiums because they live in states that did not set up their own health insurance exchanges. In New Hampshire, about 30,000 of the more than 45,000 people enrolled through the federal exchange get subsidies.

Diane Munroe of Concord heard about the court’s ruling on her way to a doctor’s appointment Thursday. She’s undergoing knee-replacement surgery later this summer — something she would not have been able to afford without her tax subsidy — and was relieved to hear the court’s ruling.

Del. Officials Applaud Upholding of Subsidies

Delaware officials are praising a U.S. Supreme Court decision that upholds federal tax subsidies for people enrolled in the state’s health care exchange under the Affordable Care Act.

Thursday’s ruling means that more than 19,000 Delawareans will continue to receive tax credits averaging $265 a month to help pay for their insurance coverage.

Notwithstanding the ruling, Delaware officials say they will continue to evaluate Delaware’s health insurance marketplace to determine whether changes should be made.

Delaware currently is one of seven states that operate exchanges with the help of the federal government, including using the federal web portal to enroll people.

Delaware officials received conditional approval from the federal government this month to switch to a state-run exchange, but a final decision will not be made until later this summer.

By Associated Press reporters Alanna Durkin, Holly Ramer and Randall Chase


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