By Consumers for Quality Care, on April 27, 2022
The Biden administration is offering an administrative tweak to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that will allow millions of consumers to access health insurance plans, according to The Washington Post.
President Biden made the announcement alongside former President Obama, who signed the Affordable Care Act into law 12 years ago. Biden’s action involves fixing the “family glitch,” which has prevented consumers who otherwise would qualify for help buying ACA insurance from purchasing coverage.
“Fixing the family glitch is the single most significant step the Biden administration can take to improve affordability under the ACA without Congress,” said Larry Levitt, Kaiser’s executive vice president for health policy.
Under the ACA as written, consumers can access ACA coverage if more than ten percent of their income goes towards monthly premiums for their employer-provided insurance. However, this provision only looks at the cost for an individual insurance policy, not a policy that covers a person’s spouse or children, making it more difficult to trigger eligibility for ACA coverage.
By taking into account a family’s total cost for job-provided insurance, millions of families will now be eligible for help purchasing coverage. An estimated 200,000 currently uninsured consumers will also be able to sign up for coverage, according to White House officials.
This is a significant measure taken by the Biden administration to expand coverage eligibility to millions of Americans. However, CQC urges lawmakers to enact additional reforms to make health care more affordable, such as expanding access to low-cost plans to eligible consumers in states that have not expanded Medicaid under the ACA.