Supreme Court Upholds Subsidies in ACA

Source: Health Policy Institute of Ohio

On June 26, the Supreme Court upheld a key part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that provides health insurance subsidies to all qualifying Americans (“Affordable Care Act Survives Supreme Court Challenge, ” Washington Post, June 25, 2015). Ohio and other states do not need a state health care exchange for residents to receive subsidies under the ACA.

In considering the law in the case King v. Burwell, the justices were asked to interpret a passage that said tax credits are authorized for those who buy insurance on marketplaces that are “established by the state.” In the 6-to-3 decision, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., said that the full language of the law made it clear that lawmakers intended for tax subsidies to be available both in state-run and federally-run exchanges. The court decided against the challengers who argued language in the law restricted the use of tax credits to enrollees in state-run insurance exchanges. Currently, those receiving subsidies in Ohio and in most other states are enrolled in exchanges set up by the federal government.

As of March 31, 188,867 Ohioans had coverage through the health insurance marketplace. Of these consumers, 161,011 (85.3%) were receiving an advanced premium tax credit and 82,427 (43.6%) were receiving cost-sharing reductions.

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