Health insurance

The Future of Affordable Health Insurance – AIC Yellow Jacket

American International College (AIC) students obtain health coverage in a variety of ways. For some, it’s through their employer or family plans. Others may purchase insurance through a health insurance marketplace here in Massachusetts or elsewhere. For all of these young adults, health care may not be a priority, but it is such an important resource, especially with the ongoing uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you’re one of the 14.5 million people who purchased health insurance in the federal market this year, your premiums have become much more affordable under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The bill passed last year included a historic investment in lowering health care costs with expanded premium tax credits that help pay for health insurance. These subsidies have made comprehensive coverage accessible to millions of families who otherwise could not afford insurance. But those grants will expire unless Congress steps in to make them permanent before they break for the summer recess.

This question is vital to the work we do. We are health science students. As health care providers, we are soon committed to providing care to everyone, in a variety of health care settings. Having affordable and accessible insurance reduces out-of-pocket expenses for people who need care. Health insurance subsidies have helped reduce monthly premiums for millions of Americans. Those who signed up for the market and benefited from the expanded subsidies saw their premiums drop by 19%, from an average of $164 to $133. For students like us advancing in the real world, this makes all the difference to affordable health insurance. Failing to extend subsidies could result in about 3 million Americans losing their health insurance.

One of AIC’s most notable alumni has an important role to play in the future of this program. Congressman Richard Neal is chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. He will be a key factor in ensuring that any legislation with this grant program passes Congress and ultimately makes it to President Biden’s desk. Congressman Neal has been a longtime advocate for affordable health care, and we hope he rises to the occasion and ensures these grants are made permanent before the August recess.

Expanding access to high quality, reliable and affordable health care is how we will move both our country and our Commonwealth forward. Young people across Massachusetts and millions of Americans are counting on Congress to protect the future of affordable health care by ensuring that subsidies are permanent for future generations.

Grace Beaupre, President of the Occupational Therapy Student Association
Michael Bianco, President of the Student Physiotherapy Association
Benjamin Gordon, physiotherapy student