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The comprehensive health care reform law was enacted in March 2010, sometimes known as ACA, PPACA, or “Obamacare”. The law has 3 primary goals: Make affordable health insurance available to more people. The law provides consumers with subsidies (“premium tax credits”) that lower costs for households with incomes between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level (FPL); Expand the Medicaid program to cover all adults with income below 138% of the FPL; Support innovative medical care delivery methods designed to lower the costs of health care generally.
Uninsured Despite the PPACA
An estimated 9.6% of U.S. residents, or 31.1 million people, lacked health insurance when surveyed in the first six months of 2021, according to preliminary estimates from the National Health Interview Survey released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (American Hospital Association, 2021).
However, a record 14.5 million Americans have purchased health insurance for 2022 under the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, but subsidies to lower costs related to acquiring insurance coverage may end in 2022. (Trattner, 2022)
Premiums for ACA Marketplace benchmark silver plans are decreasing on average across the U.S. in 2022 for the fourth consecutive year. However, premium changes vary widely by location and by metal level, with premiums increasing in several cases. As most enrollees receive significant premium subsidies on the ACA Marketplaces, the net premium amount an exchange enrollee pays out-of-pocket depends on their income and the difference in the cost between the benchmark plan (second-lowest silver plan) and the premium for the plan they choose. (Giorlando Ramirez, 2021)
According to Curley (2022); “That law eliminated the income cap for subsidy eligibility in 2021 and 2022, and also made subsidies larger for 2021 and 2022, by reducing the percentage of income that people have to pay to buy the benchmark plan (second-lowest-cost silver plan),” Louise Norris, a licensed broker and analyst for healthinsurance.org, told Healthline in December. “All of that is still in effect for 2022, so people who are shopping now will tend to see larger subsidies than they saw during last fall’s open enrollment period.”
The new law expands subsidies to ensure that no family spends more than 8.5 percent of their income on a benchmark plan.
According to federal officials, that should net out to a savings of $50 a person a month or $85 a policy a month. In addition, half of the enrollees should be able to obtain a Silver-level plan for $10 or less a month.
According to Healthcare.gov (n.d.); “ A payment (“penalty,” “fine,” “individual mandate”) you made when you filed federal taxes if you didn’t have health insurance that counted as qualifying health coverage for plan years 2018 and earlier. The fee for not having health insurance no longer applies. This means you no longer pay a tax penalty for not having health coverage.
The federal tax penalty for not being enrolled in health insurance was eliminated in 2019 because of changes made by the Trump Administration.
The prior tax penalty for not having health insurance in 2018 was $695 for adults and $347.50 for children or 2% of your yearly income, whichever amount is more.
tjordan_drupal. (n.d.). CDC reports on uninsured in first six months of 2021: AHA News. American Hospital Association | AHA News. Retrieved May 4, 2022, from https://www.aha.org/news/headline/2021-11-17-cdc-reports-uninsured-first-six-months-2021#:~:text=An%20estimated%209.6%25%20of%20U.S.,for%20Disease%20Control%20and%20Prevention.
Giorlando Ramirez, L. F., & 2021, D. (2021, December 7). How Aca Marketplace premiums are changing by county in 2022. KFF. Retrieved May 4, 2022, from https://www.kff.org/private-insurance/issue-brief/how-aca-marketplace-premiums-are-changing-by-county-in-2022/
Trattner, C. (2022, January 27). U.S. uninsured rate drops as 14.5 million sign up for 2022 Obamacare coverage. Newsweek. Retrieved May 4, 2022, from https://www.newsweek.com/us-uninsured-rate-drops-145-million-sign-2022-obamacare-coverage-1673745#:~:text=U.S.%20Uninsured%20Rate%20Drops%20as%2014.5%20Million%20Sign%20Up%20for%202022%20Obamacare%20Coverage,-By%20Charlotte%20Trattner&text=A%20record%2014.5%20million%20Americans,coverage%20may%20end%20in%202022.
Curley, C. (2022, January 27). Obamacare 2022: Enrollment up, premiums are down. Healthline. Retrieved May 4, 2022, from https://www.healthline.com/health-news/obamacare-2022-enrollment-is-up-insurance-premiums-are-down#New-subsidies,-lower-premiums