Health insurance

Millions of ACA health insurance plans could face hikes unless Congress acts

WASHINGTON — Do you or a loved one receive your health insurance through the Affordable Care Act?

The latest figures show that 31 million people are currently enrolled in market plans or through Medicaid expansion nationwide – that’s a record.

However, there are looming questions about whether a major rate hike is on the horizon for many of these health insurance plans.

THE PROBLEM

There is inflation and there is Ukraine. There is an ongoing debate about abortion.

Let’s face it, the country is facing a lot of things.

Well, you can add health insurance premium hikes to the continuing list of problems facing the United States.

Remember the Affordable Care Act and how it created new health insurance options for those without insurance?

When President Joe Biden signed into law the US bailout at the height of the pandemic, he created what are known as “advanced premium tax credits” that made health insurance plans obtained on the cheaper government market.

The average family saved $200 in premiums, according to the latest data.

4 out of 5 consumers were eligible for $10/month plans.

Listings are up 21% this year, with lower prices playing a big part.

However, the funding that made the plans so cheap will expire at the end of this year and families are expected to receive notice just weeks before Election Day.

Some plans can increase by hundreds of dollars each month.

More than a dozen Democratic governors wrote to members of Congress last week asking them to take action to prevent what they call “dramatic bonus increases” soon.

States like California, Colorado, Michigan and Nevada fear this could lead to Americans being denied health insurance.

So far, however, it is unclear whether Congress will address this issue.

Republicans have been reluctant to extend any kind of pandemic aid, fearing it will fuel inflation.

Democrats, meanwhile, hope a solution could be included in a reconciliation package this summer.

This hypothetical legislation would pass with only Democratic votes in the Senate and would likely also address prescription drug reform and climate change.

However, this legislation has yet to be made public and would need the support of all Senate Democrats.

Recent history has shown us that this is a difficult task.

After all, Biden’s “Build Back Better” legislation has been stalled by objections from Democrats — like Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia.