News

HEADLINES: Congress Must Act Now to Stop Health Care Premium Hikes

The American Rescue Plan saved families thousands of dollars on their health care premiums, but these savings are set to expire, and a health care crisis is looming. Unless Congress extends the health care premium reductions in the American Rescue Plan, millions of Americans will see dramatic increases in their 2023 health insurance premiums, and many will no longer be able to afford insurance at all. Coverage confirms these premium hikes will be front and center as Americans signing up for health coverage and heading to the polls in November. 

Coverage:

Washington Post: Congress Is Under Pressure From State Marketplaces To Keep Obamacare Subsidies Higher. “They’re issuing warnings about large spikes in premiums — notices Americans could receive just weeks before the midterm elections. It’s a message roughly 17 directors of state-based Obamacare exchanges will make in meetings today with administration officials and on the Hill with top Democratic and Republican staff.” [Washington Post, 5/17/22]

Politico: An Obamacare Fiasco Could Blow Up On Democrats Right Before The Midterms. “The price hikes would hit an estimated 13 million people across the country, potentially adding hundreds of dollars to families’ monthly expenses…voters would begin receiving notices about their premium increases in October — around the same time they’re starting to cast their midterm ballots…Health experts predict abruptly eliminating the subsidies would especially reverse the coverage gains among Black people and those who live in red states that haven’t expanded Medicaid. For millions more, their monthly premiums would potentially skyrocket.” [Politico, 5/20/22]

The Hill: Vulnerable House Democrats Urge Action To Prevent Obamacare Premium Hike This Fall. “‘These out-of-pocket cost increases are imminent: starting this autumn, when enrollees begin receiving notices of their premium increases for 2023 health plans, our constituents will find that the same high-quality coverage that they have been able to afford thanks to the American Rescue Plan will now be out of reach,’ the lawmakers write…If the enhanced subsidies are not extended, premium increases could be substantial. The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that premiums would have been 53 percent higher on average this year without the extra financial assistance.” [The Hill, 5/23/22]

Business Insider: West Virginians Will See The Biggest Spike In Obamacare Premiums Within Months If Manchin Keeps Blocking Biden’s Economic Agenda. “In West Virginia, people would see an average premium hike of $1,536 per person…With ACA open enrollment kicking off on Nov. 1, many Americans would see the eye-popping premium increases for 2023 just a week before casting votes in the midterms.” [Business Insider, 5/16/22]

Huffington Post: Democrats Have Little Time To Avert An Election-Eve Obamacare Premium Hike. “Health insurance premiums for millions of Americans will spike if Congress doesn’t act in the next few months, with particularly big increases in politically contested states…The assistance, which President Joe Biden and the Democrats enacted as part of last year’s COVID-19 relief program, has reduced premiums by hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars a year. But the assistance is set to end in December. If that happens, prices will go back up and consumers will start to learn about the increases in the fall.” [Huffington Post, 5/16/22]

Kaiser Health News: New Covered California Leader Urges Renewal Of Enhanced Federal Aid For Health Premiums. “The extra dollars reduced the average monthly premium cost to Covered California enrollees by 20% this year compared with 2021, according to estimates from the exchange. And the lower cost helped push enrollment to a record 1.8 million this year. Nationally, the average premium cost for marketplace enrollees dropped 23%, and enrollment rose to 14.5 million, also a record. Altman fears that without the continued support, the cost to consumers will rise sharply, and many people will forgo coverage. It’s why she says one of her first tasks is to push Congress for an extension of the American Rescue Plan subsidies.” [Kaiser Health News, 5/18/22]

Florida Politics: Expiration Of Public Health Emergency, Enhanced Tax Credits Could Surge State’s Uninsured Rolls. “There’s a ‘perfect storm’ brewing that could lead to hundreds of thousands of Florida residents losing their health insurance coverage…costs of health insurance premiums could soar by 53% for more than 2.5 million people if Congress does not make permanent the enhanced subsidies that were included in the American Rescue Plan.” [Florida Politics, 5/19/22]

Health News Florida: Hundreds Of Thousands Of Florida Residents May Become Uninsured In 2023 Without Premium Tax Credits. “If you create a situation where coverage is so unaffordable that only really sick people want to be in it, you’re going to then raise premiums and you’re going to make that situation a little bit worse every year because every year premiums will get higher. So it’s bad for individuals and it’s bad for the market as a whole when premiums go up.” [Health News Florida, 5/11/22]

Cincinnati Enquirer (Opinion): Make Health Care Tax Credits Permanent. “Half of Americans worry about keeping up with health care costs, not only because it drains our bank accounts, but because we literally can’t live without it…the American Rescue Plan made health care premiums more affordable than ever. These tax credits have been a crucial lifeline for families during the pandemic, and now is the time to make them permanent.” [Cincinnati Enquirer, 5/21/22]

Reports:

Protect Our Care: Insurers Seeking Skyrocking Premium Increases In 2023. “Experts say insurers are likely to seek double digit increases in state after state…If Congress does not act, news of premiums skyrocketing will be front and center just as Americans begin signing up for coverage and as people go to the polls in November. Only Congress can prevent this from happening—it’s time to extend the American Rescue Plan tax credits.” [Protect Our Care, 5/20/22]

Kaiser Family Foundation: For ACA Enrollees, How Much Premiums Rise Next Year Is Mostly Up To Congress. “If Congress does not extend the subsidies, out-of-pocket premium payments will return to their pre-ARPA levels, which would be seen as a significant premium increase to millions of subsidized enrollees. In the 33 states using HealthCare.gov, premium payments in 2022 would have been 53% higher on average if not for the ARPA extra subsidies. The same is true in the states operating their own exchanges.” [KFF, 5/18/22]

NASHP: State-Based Marketplaces Say Many Will Lose Coverage if Premium Assistance Expires. “Immediate action to extend the enhanced subsidies is needed. Insurers have already begun analyses to set their rates for 2023, as SBMs begin making operational changes to prepare for the 2023 enrollment season.” [NASP, 5/18/22]

Families USA: Unless Congress Acts, Health Care Costs Will Soon Skyrocket For People Who Buy Their Own Insurance. “The last thing [American families] need is a 53% increase in their health insurance premiums. But that’s the average increase that will soon be charged to millions of people who buy their own health insurance through healthcare.gov—unless Congress extends the financial assistance provided by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) beyond this year. Without congressional intervention, premium costs for current coverage will shoot up by a staggering amount: more than $12 billion in additional charges to families across the country.” [Families USA, 5/16/22]