Health insurers and 13 million subscribers applaud Senate extension of Obamacare credits

The US Senate’s passage on Sunday of the Cut Inflation Act extends subsidies to millions of Americans who purchase individual coverage under the Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare.

These grants, which had been temporary since the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act last year, increased financial assistance to those already eligible to purchase health insurance under the ACA and also extended these subsidies to even more broadly middle-class Americans who “were previously priced out of coverage,” shows an analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

This bill will “save millions of people an average of $800 a year in health insurance premiums,” said Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. President Joe Biden is expected to sign the legislation once it passes the House.

The three-year subsidy extension, expected to pass the Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives later this week, isn’t just good news for the record number of Americans buying coverage under the ACA, but also for the health insurers who sell it. . The tax credits were due to expire this year, which would impact 2023 benefit plans, health insurers said.

“Every American deserves access to affordable coverage and high-quality care, and Senate action will continue to provide vital support that millions of hard-working American families need to purchase their own health coverage in years to come,” said Matt Eyles, president and CEO of America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), which includes major Obamacare providers such as Centene, CVS Health and Cigna as members.

The passage of the legislation comes as health insurance companies expand the markets where they sell individual Obamacare coverage to serve more Americans. These health insurers are also expanding their offerings with more benefits.

Take CVS Health and its health insurance unit Aetna, which last week announced plans to expand its business selling individual coverage under the Affordable Care Act of 2023 to four new states.

Other health insurers also hailed the Senate action, saying it maintains stability in the record number of Americans buying coverage under the ACA.

“The Senate’s extension of these tax credits will protect nearly 13 million Americans from cost increases at a time when the price of everything from gas to groceries is rising,” Kim Keck said. , president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, which represents some of the nation’s largest Obamacare coverage providers.

The association includes Florida Blue, Health Care Service Corp., which sells health insurance in five states, including Texas and Illinois, and Elevance Health, formerly known as Anthem, which sells Blue Cross plans and Blue Shield in 14 states.

“This decision keeps real money in Americans’ wallets and gives them real peace of mind,” Keck said. “We look forward to House passage and the President signing this bill and will continue to work with Congress to make health care more affordable for everyone.”

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